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Old January 9th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosolap View Post
Your remark applies to ANY modern aircraft.
All of the 737's major systems are U.S.-built (fuselage, structure, avionics, engines, landing gear, etc.). Granted, the CFM engines are a 50/50 joint venture between GE and Snecma (France), but P&W makes arguably superior narrowbody engines.

The 787/A350/CSeries program suppliers are now distributed across North America, Europe, and Japan, but only because European and Japanese suppliers have reached or approached parity with U.S. suppliers. If they wanted to, Boeing and Airbus could make an almost entirely U.S./European aircraft, but they don't because global sourcing is cheaper/better/faster and because of the whole distributed risk mantra.

In other words, there's a difference between choosing to and being compelled to source globally. On the other hand, this only matters if you're stroking your nationalistic ego.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSMEX View Post
this only matters if you're stroking your nationalistic ego.
So true!

And let's have it straight - North America is not a country, neither is Europe.
Canadian Bombardier is not any less dependent on foreign components than Comac. Same applies to Brazilian Embraer.
Airbus, as we know, is not a "national" manufacturer
Even if we call Airbus a 'European' manufacturer we need to make a remark, that our 'Europe' does not include East Europe, but does include Russia
Anyway the 'self-made' Comac C919 may be a small step for a mankind, but giant leap for China.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosolap View Post
So true!

And let's have it straight - North America is not a country, neither is Europe.
Canadian Bombardier is not any less dependent on foreign components than Comac. Same applies to Brazilian Embraer.
Airbus, as we know, is not a "national" manufacturer
Even if we call Airbus a 'European' manufacturer we need to make a remark, that our 'Europe' does not include East Europe, but does include Russia
Anyway the 'self-made' Comac C919 may be a small step for a mankind, but giant leap for China.
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"Canadian Bombardier is not any less dependent on foreign components than Comac. Same applies to Brazilian Embraer."
I'm not sure I agree with this.

What makes the C919 program so interesting is that after the 2008 formation of COMAC, their first major project (ARJ21 notwithstanding) was to develop a 737/A320 competitor. This is in contrast with Bombardier, which has decades of experience designing, building, certifying, and supporting modern commercial aircraft starting with Challenger in the 80s, and only now feels that a 737/A320-competitor program is appropriate. In fact, the CSeries doesn't even compete head on with the 738/739 and A320/A321.

By tackling such a difficult project with almost no experience in commercial aviation, COMAC has outsourced the C919 to a whole different level, even compared to the 787/A350. For example, every switch, knob, and label in the flight deck interface is designed, ironically, by Bombardier, and shares commonality with the CSeries. Things like electrical systems, flight manuals and procedures, certification and flight test protocols, and support are all usually done by the OEM but in this case, have been outsourced by COMAC.

There's nothing inherently wrong with outsourcing. Mitsubishi is also an emerging player in commercial aviation and has tied in with Boeing for MRO/after-sales support for the MRJ and is leaning heavily on AeroTEC for flight testing and certification (going so far as conducting almost all of its flight testing in Washington state).

But in the end, I think it's fair to say that the CSeries is more purebred Bombardier/Canadian than the C919 is purebred COMAC/Chinese.

Quote:
Even if we call Airbus a 'European' manufacturer we need to make a remark, that our 'Europe' does not include East Europe, but does include Russia
Airbus isn't really European beyond the fact that it's founding members are all major aerospace players in the four or five leading European countries. Airbus was largely founded through a merger between the major British, French, and West German aerospace companies, with France and Germany being the most dominant (as evinced by the Toulouse and Hamburg FALs).

Thus, it's most useful to think of Airbus as a French/German/British/Spanish/Italian (roughly in that order) plane maker, rather than European.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #184
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Comac has begun taxi and brake testing of the first C919, the inaugural flight of which officials expect as soon as late March.
Launched in 2008, the C919 program has experienced a series of setbacks that pushed back its maiden flight and delivery date, originally scheduled for 2014 and 2016, respectively.


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Old April 18th, 2017, 01:11 AM   #185
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C919 aircraft given first high-speed taxi test on Sunday morning at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The plane reached a top speed of about 248 kilometers per hour, approaching the speed required for takeoff and landing. The plane will undergo more high-speed taxi tests before making its maiden flight.


https://youtu.be/TD3Gj90YfZI
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Old April 25th, 2017, 12:33 AM   #186
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Comac has completed taxi testing of the first C919 narrowbody airliner prototype, and received authorization from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to conduct the first flight.

In the final taxi tests, C919 prototype lifted its nose gear in fast runs at Shanghai Pudong International Airport


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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #187
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Old May 5th, 2017, 10:01 AM   #188
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Maiden flight
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Old May 5th, 2017, 02:11 PM   #189
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C919 completes its maiden flight
May 5, 2017
China Daily Excerpt

After 79 minutes of flying, the C919 landed safely at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 3:20 pm on Friday.

Cai Jun was the captain of the flight. With a flying experience of 10,300 hours, Cai has also flown China's self-designed regional jet liner ARJ21 during its test stage. It took six years for the plane to be certified since 2008 before it was allowed to get off the ground.

The twin-engine single-aisle C919 has 158 to 174 seats, and it will be used for medium-haul flights after it enters the commercial market. The commercialization of the C919 will take two to three years, and the demand for C919 in domestic market is at least 2000, according to its designers.

The aircraft is expected to compete with the updated Airbus A320 and the new-generation Boeing B737 currently dominating the domestic passenger jet market.

More : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/busines...t_29221872.htm
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Old May 5th, 2017, 03:09 PM   #190
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3-minute overview: A look back at the final assembly of China’s 1st home-built passenger jet C919



Take a look back at China’s first domestically built passenger jet, the C919, final assembly. It took almost a decade for China to develop its own large passenger jet. The project was launched in 2008 and is set to compete against the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. The assembly of the C919 began in 2014.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 03:15 PM   #191
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China's C919 Passenger Jet Successfully Completes Maiden Flight



China's C919, the country's first domestically built large passenger jet, successfully completed its maiden flight on Friday afternoon.

The twin-engine plane departed from Shanghai Pudong International Airport with five crew members on board but no passengers at around 14:00.

After half an hour, it landed at the same airport, with media waiting and spectators applauding.

Cai Jun, captain of the C919 maiden flight, was the first to disembark from the aircraft and waved to onlookers at the flight ceremony. He was then greeted by Wu Guanghui, chief designer of the C919 project before the rest of the flight crew exited the plane.

The flight makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Europe and Russia. It also marks a milestone for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the Shanghai-based manufacturer of the C919.

The "C" in the aircraft's name stands for both China and COMAC, while 9 symbolizes "forever" in Chinese culture, and 19 represents the 190 seats at maximum capacity.

With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-body jet is comparable with updated Airbus 320 and Boeing's new generation 737, signaling the country's entry into the global aviation market.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 04:06 PM   #192
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NYTimes report on C919

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/b...ng-airbus.html

SHANGHAI — China’s commercial aerospace dreams took wing on Friday, as the first Chinese-built passenger jetliner completed its first public flight test, embodying the country’s ambitions to take on the industry champions, Boeing and Airbus.

With a brisk breeze blowing through light smog under overcast skies, a large crowd of government officials and aerospace executives gathered to watch as the C919, white with a green-and-blue striped tail, underwent a lengthy preflight check, then rumbled down a runway and into the sky for a test flight that lasted about an hour.

The aircraft landed safely, and Comac, its manufacturer, declared it a success. But the program still has a long journey ahead. It is emblematic of China’s challenge as it seeks to become a leader in aerospace and other critical technologies like electric cars, advanced microchips and artificial intelligence.

The C919 is years — if not decades — behind aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing that are cheaper to fly and easier to maintain. Safety regulators in Europe, the United States and elsewhere still have to certify the plane before it can be sold outside China. And including parts like the engines, its cockpit and its belly, the C919 is filled with gear made by Western industrial giants like General Electric and Honeywell.

But on Friday, none of that mattered. For a country that only 40 years ago was one of the poorest in the world, the C919 symbolized the industrial might of an emerging superpower — and its dream to dominate a new technological era.


Planning for the 158-seat C919 began more than a decade ago, but the plane has become a centerpiece of the country’s more recent ambitions to become largely self-sufficient in many high-tech goods and to export them as well. That plan, called Made in China 2025, worries many Western businesses who fear competing against government-supported Chinese companies.

“We used to believe that it was better to buy than to build, better to rent than to buy,” President Xi Jinping of China told workers during a recent visit here. “We need to spend more on researching and manufacturing our own airliners.”

China’s investment in civilian aircraft manufacturing is enormous. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, better known as Comac, unveiled the extent of its activities for the first time on Thursday, showing off a complex of more than 110 buildings.

In one of the seven towering gray manufacturing buildings sat the second C919, still being assembled. Workers in dark blue uniforms installed components in the plane’s wings and cargo area, the rattling of their tools echoing through a cavernous space that could accommodate many more aircraft on a production line.

The second C919, coated in green anticorrosion paint and not yet displaying any airline’s colors, will not be ready until September, said Bao Pengli, Comac’s deputy director of project management for manufacturing and final assembly. Only after building six test planes will Comac decide whether it is ready for large-scale production, he said.

Comac says it already has 570 orders from 23 buyers. But those have almost entirely come from Chinese companies and a couple of small overseas air carriers with links to China. A notable exception is an order for 20 planes from General Electric Capital Aviation Services; G.E. is also a big supplier to the C919 program.

The C919 is designed to compete with the Airbus 320 and the Boeing 737, single-aisle planes that are the workhorses of the world’s airlines. For Comac, the plane represents the culmination of decades of work; for Airbus and Boeing, it is a challenge to a profitable duopoly that has endured for decades.

But it is unclear that China can produce aircraft that are as efficient and reliable as even the current generation of Boeings and Airbuses.

“If you have a slight rivet head protrusion, it does affect the air flow,” and that may mean extra fuel consumption, said Martin Craigs, chairman of the Aerospace Forum Asia, a commercial aircraft industry trade association.

China has learned a lot in recent years about how to build single-aisle planes by making many parts for Boeing 737s and by assembling entire A320s for Airbus. But the country’s dream of becoming a competitor in the global market for commercial aircraft started in 1972, when President Nixon visited China in a Boeing 707.

Chinese officials loved the plane and later bought 10 Boeing 707s, as well as 40 spare Pratt & Whitney engines. China to some extent copied the fuselages of the 707 for a small production run of experimental Y-10 planes using the additional engines.

Decades later, those experiences and a fast-developing aviation sector — China has the world’s second-busiest behind the United States — mean there are few questions about the C919’s safety.

Arnold Barnett, the dean of aviation safety statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that China had had only one fatal crash in the past decade, even as its aviation sector expanded. One person has been killed per 70 million passengers boarded in China, compared with one passenger per 25 million boardings in the West, he said.


Gary Moran, the head of Asia aviation insurance at Aon, a large global insurance broker, said that as insurers assessed the risks of a new aircraft like the C919, they were likely to be reassured by the large role that multinationals had played. In addition to the avionics, G.E. has also collaborated on the engines, while Honeywell is providing auxiliary power systems, wheels, brakes, fly-by-wire controls and navigation equipment.

For China, the C919 is just the beginning. Even if the plane proves less fuel-efficient than Western alternatives, the state-controlled airline industry may still be required to buy it, and the Chinese aviation market in the coming years is expected to rival only the American market in size and perhaps surpass it.

And although the plane represents a new challenger for aircraft sales, Airbus and Boeing, increasingly dependent on Chinese airlines for sales as well as on Chinese suppliers for parts, welcomed its arrival.

“The C919 will bring new competition to the market,” Airbus said in a statement. Yukui Wang, a Boeing spokesman, added: “We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Comac for the successful development of the C919 airplane.”

Comac is already looking past the C919 to the design and manufacture of a wide-body jet that would compete with larger, more profitable planes like the Boeing 747 and the A340. Steven Lien, the president for Asia at Honeywell’s aerospace division, said that Russia and China were in the final stages of negotiating a plan to jointly design and produce it.

Commercial aircraft often share DNA with military aerospace programs. Boeing 707 siblings like the KC-135 tanker and RC-135 reconnaissance plane are used by the United States Air Force, while Airbus has a sizable military equipment division. China’s aerospace program is under particularly tight government oversight.

Comac, based in Shanghai, is under the direct control of China’s cabinet. The state-owned enterprise that jointly owns Comac and is most closely linked to it is the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC, which makes China’s fighters and bombers. It is also G.E.’s joint venture partner in producing sophisticated avionics equipment for the C919. G.E. said in an email that legal agreements protected its intellectual property from misuse.

Honeywell expects $15 billion in sales to the C919 program during its 20 or more years of production. But the company plans to adhere to Western export control regulations in this process, Mr. Lien said.

“We follow them very, very closely,” he said, “and we would never take a shortcut.”
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Old May 5th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #193
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WSJ takes a more critical tone....

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-s...jet-1493887269

By Trefor Moss

SHANGHAI—China is expected to pass a technology milestone on Friday with the maiden flight of its first big commercial airliner, launching what Beijing hopes will become a rival to Boeing and Airbus

If the flight goes off as planned, and weather permitting, the C919 will be the latest breakthrough for China as it races to upgrade its advanced industrial capacity in sectors including robotics, computer chips, electric cars and renewable energy.

Getting airborne is one thing. Soaring in the fiercely competitive commercial-aviation market is a far tougher proposition, aviation analysts say. But with a reported $317 billion set aside to bankroll advanced manufacturing projects, China seems to care less about returns from costly experiments like the C919 than about securing a foothold in high-value industries dominated by foreign players.

“Basically, they can deliver jets if they’re willing to lose a lot of money,” Richard Aboulafia, vice president at Teal Group Corp., a U.S.-based aerospace intelligence company.

The C919 project predates the government’s Made in China 2025 initiative, which began in 2015, but it falls squarely within the objectives of that program. The plan calls for Chinese products to replace foreign equivalents in the domestic economy and to be exported globally.



Efforts at home are being matched by strategic acquisitions abroad, such as last year’s $5 billion purchase of German industrial-robot maker Kuka AG by Chinese home-appliance manufacturer Midea Group.

In March, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the agency steering the industrial-upgrade program, acknowledged overcapacity risks in some high-tech fields, notably robotics, which at least 800 Chinese companies are busy developing, but claimed steady progress overall.

However, the Made in China blueprint has drawn fire from, among others, the European Chamber of Commerce, which contends that state support for local players designed to squeeze out foreign rivals could contravene World Trade Organization rules, not to mention squander resources in a top-down bid to capture market share.

Senior officials have denied that China’s industrial strategy will put foreign companies at a disadvantage, claiming that outsiders are welcome to participate in China’s high-tech industries.

To the skeptics, the C919 is indicative of the waste inherent in the domestic-manufacturing push. Though the jet marks a leap forward in China’s aerospace capabilities, it is still three-quarters foreign technology and isn’t close to matching Boeing or Airbus’s newest jetliners, according to Mr. Aboulafia. Most aviation analysts say the jet’s technology is a decade or two behind the competition, making it less fuel efficient than its more up-to-date rivals.

Once the euphoria of the inaugural flight subsides, China “might be surprised to learn that all the big challenges are still ahead of them: setting up a global support network, arranging for jetliner finance and, most of all, losing money on the first 500 they build,” Mr. Aboulafia said.

The C919’s developer, the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, has one big advantage: a captive market for its creation in the form of China’s three large state-run airlines, which have agreed to buy the jet. Whether they commit to much beyond a handful of orders once the plane starts rolling off the production line in the early 2020s remains to be seen.

Beijing’s expectations are modest: The Made in China plan targets 10% self-sufficiency in passenger jets by 2025, compared with 80% for electric cars and 70% for industrial robots. In 2025, that would equate to 20 to 30 planes, according to jet-market forecasts.


Even that could prove challenging. Comac says it plans to build 2,300 C919s over the next two decades, but Teal Group forecasts that it will be lucky to sell more than a few dozen over the lifetime of the program, since the 158-seat single-aisle plane will be competing head-on with Boeing and Airbus’s established short-haul jets.

Yet securing market share could still qualify as a success in Beijing’s reckoning, if the C919 is seen as a first step in a decadeslong project to erode the Boeing and Airbus duopoly, said Jost Wuebbeke of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin.

Moreover, Made in China is a “wish list”: China doesn’t seriously expect to conquer all 10 targeted industries, Mr. Wuebbeke said.

Beijing would probably settle for success in two or three of those sectors, such as electric vehicles, semiconductors and biotechnology, he said, noting that heavy losses in individual programs such as the C919 are tolerable so long as some self-sufficiency benchmarks are being met.

“Westerners often underestimate China’s top-down approach,” Mr. Wuebbeke said. “It wastes resources, but it also produces results.”
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Old May 6th, 2017, 03:32 AM   #194
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Congrats to China, welcome to the big leagues!
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Old May 6th, 2017, 04:06 AM   #195
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Old May 6th, 2017, 07:54 PM   #196
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You can hear the very distinct, but low-volume, whine of the CFM International LEAP engines on this plane. Anyone who's seen videos of the SAS A320neo planes in flight know what I mean.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 04:24 AM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSMEX View Post
I'm not sure I agree with this.

What makes the C919 program so interesting is that after the 2008 formation of COMAC, their first major project (ARJ21 notwithstanding) was to develop a 737/A320 competitor. This is in contrast with Bombardier, which has decades of experience designing, building, certifying, and supporting modern commercial aircraft starting with Challenger in the 80s, and only now feels that a 737/A320-competitor program is appropriate. In fact, the CSeries doesn't even compete head on with the 738/739 and A320/A321.

By tackling such a difficult project with almost no experience in commercial aviation, COMAC has outsourced the C919 to a whole different level, even compared to the 787/A350. For example, every switch, knob, and label in the flight deck interface is designed, ironically, by Bombardier, and shares commonality with the CSeries. Things like electrical systems, flight manuals and procedures, certification and flight test protocols, and support are all usually done by the OEM but in this case, have been outsourced by COMAC.

There's nothing inherently wrong with outsourcing. Mitsubishi is also an emerging player in commercial aviation and has tied in with Boeing for MRO/after-sales support for the MRJ and is leaning heavily on AeroTEC for flight testing and certification (going so far as conducting almost all of its flight testing in Washington state).

But in the end, I think it's fair to say that the CSeries is more purebred Bombardier/Canadian than the C919 is purebred COMAC/Chinese.



Airbus isn't really European beyond the fact that it's founding members are all major aerospace players in the four or five leading European countries. Airbus was largely founded through a merger between the major British, French, and West German aerospace companies, with France and Germany being the most dominant (as evinced by the Toulouse and Hamburg FALs).

Thus, it's most useful to think of Airbus as a French/German/British/Spanish/Italian (roughly in that order) plane maker, rather than European.

I can guarantee you in about 10 years, China will need no critical input to produce this plane. If you followed what Chinese did with high speed trains you would have known they do not have any problem buying technology, assimilate it and produce their own in rather short time. I absolutely do not mean copying. They do their own R&D, too (Current Chinese R&D budget is more than whole Europe combined). When your market is China size you can apply this to almost any tech.

China already has two engine projects that can be used in C919. One for Y-20 military cargo plane the other specifically for civilian use.

Actually, I also think one of the reasons for using foreign parts in C919 is marketing. It will be easier to sell this plane with the Western components installed outside China for now.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #198
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Quote:
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I can guarantee you in about 10 years, China will need no critical input to produce this plane. If you followed what Chinese did with high speed trains you would have known they do not have any problem buying technology, assimilate it and produce their own in rather short time. I absolutely do not mean copying. They do their own R&D, too (Current Chinese R&D budget is more than whole Europe combined). When your market is China size you can apply this to almost any tech.
This is totally apples to oranges. The number of countries that can indigenously produce high speed trainsets is numerous, including Japan (Hitachi, Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyo), France (Alstom), Germany (Siemens), Italy (AnsaldoBreda), Spain (Talgo, CAF), Switzerland (Stadler), Canada (Bombardier), South Korea (Hyundai Rotem). In fact, Canada doesn't have any commercial high speed rail and it still has a trainset supplier. Years before Chinese HSR, South Korea did the same with HSR technology on its KTX network and is also producing their own high speed trainsets.

Thus, building high speed trains may be difficult but it's a challenge that many have overcome.

On the other hand, only 3.5 companies in the world make competitive turbofans and the market is far larger and potentially far more lucrative than high speed trainsets. Jet engines really are a product of the society that they're made in and the complexity and advancement required in everything from metallurgy to combustion simulation is staggering. While China has already poured double-digit billions into engine development, reaching parity with GE/P&W/RR/CFM still seems to be more than a generation away.

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China already has two engine projects that can be used in C919. One for Y-20 military cargo plane the other specifically for civilian use.
I did some digging into the SF-A and CJ-1000 and it doesn't look like there's been much news in recent years. The SF-A is on the horizon but it's still years away and it was a conservative attempt that is trying to match CFM56-5 performance, which is one generation behind the LEAP 1X engines used on the C919. It took GE/CFM from 1998 to 2016 to go from the CFM56-5 to the LEAP engines, and it required a fundamental redesign utilizing composite blades and a much higher bypass ratio. The CJ-1000, which needs to match LEAP performance in order to not downgrade the C919's performance, is still an indefinite amount of time away and attempts to find a Western engine manufacturer to collaborate with have turned up empty so far.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney and CFM/GE seemed to have entered a technological arms race in the narrowbody engine market, with P&W looking to make yield optimizations in the PurePower GTF (geared turbofan) engines and GE looking to incorporate GTF technology into the next generation of LEAP engines. GTFs represent a paradigm shift and almost certainly all future jet engines generations will need to be GTFs to remain competitive.

Thus, the SF-A is years away and even if the CJ-1000 is introduced just ten years after the SF-A, which many analysts believe to be wildly optimistic, they'll still be a generation behind the next generation of engines.

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Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Actually, I also think one of the reasons for using foreign parts in C919 is marketing. It will be easier to sell this plane with the Western components installed outside China for now.
There's literally no evidence of this.
  • The C919 not only incorporates a large number of foreign systems but was also developed with significant help from Bombardier, with which it shares a no-longer-same-but-likely-still-similar cockpit layout.
  • The subsystems that are indigenously produced, particularly the fuselage, wings, and empennage, are almost entirely made from traditional aluminum construction, which makes the C919 heavier and less efficient than the A320neo and 737 MAX despite benefitting from a more modern nose shape. The fact that the major parts made by COMAC are the very systems that hold the performance of the plane back doesn't reconcile with the fact that there are domestic subsystems that are near or on performance parity with foreign subsystems.
  • The C929, COMAC's next project, started with an MOU with UAC and Russia, which doesn't at all suggest that COMAC is ready to build an aircraft out of mostly domestic systems anytime soon.
  • While evaluating the engines for the C919 over 10 years ago, serious consideration was given to domestically produced engines but they were rejected due to the performance difference. If COMAC were OK with domestic engines, surely they'd be OK with domestic avionics, fuel systems, landing gears, etc.?
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Old June 20th, 2017, 08:05 AM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSMEX View Post
This is totally apples to oranges. The number of countries that can indigenously produce high speed trainsets is numerous, including Japan (Hitachi, Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyo), France (Alstom), Germany (Siemens), Italy (AnsaldoBreda), Spain (Talgo, CAF), Switzerland (Stadler), Canada (Bombardier), South Korea (Hyundai Rotem). In fact, Canada doesn't have any commercial high speed rail and it still has a trainset supplier. Years before Chinese HSR, South Korea did the same with HSR technology on its KTX network and is also producing their own high speed trainsets.

Thus, building high speed trains may be difficult but it's a challenge that many have overcome.

On the other hand, only 3.5 companies in the world make competitive turbofans and the market is far larger and potentially far more lucrative than high speed trainsets. Jet engines really are a product of the society that they're made in and the complexity and advancement required in everything from metallurgy to combustion simulation is staggering. While China has already poured double-digit billions into engine development, reaching parity with GE/P&W/RR/CFM still seems to be more than a generation away.



I did some digging into the SF-A and CJ-1000 and it doesn't look like there's been much news in recent years. The SF-A is on the horizon but it's still years away and it was a conservative attempt that is trying to match CFM56-5 performance, which is one generation behind the LEAP 1X engines used on the C919. It took GE/CFM from 1998 to 2016 to go from the CFM56-5 to the LEAP engines, and it required a fundamental redesign utilizing composite blades and a much higher bypass ratio. The CJ-1000, which needs to match LEAP performance in order to not downgrade the C919's performance, is still an indefinite amount of time away and attempts to find a Western engine manufacturer to collaborate with have turned up empty so far.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney and CFM/GE seemed to have entered a technological arms race in the narrowbody engine market, with P&W looking to make yield optimizations in the PurePower GTF (geared turbofan) engines and GE looking to incorporate GTF technology into the next generation of LEAP engines. GTFs represent a paradigm shift and almost certainly all future jet engines generations will need to be GTFs to remain competitive.

Thus, the SF-A is years away and even if the CJ-1000 is introduced just ten years after the SF-A, which many analysts believe to be wildly optimistic, they'll still be a generation behind the next generation of engines.



There's literally no evidence of this.
  • The C919 not only incorporates a large number of foreign systems but was also developed with significant help from Bombardier, with which it shares a no-longer-same-but-likely-still-similar cockpit layout.
  • The subsystems that are indigenously produced, particularly the fuselage, wings, and empennage, are almost entirely made from traditional aluminum construction, which makes the C919 heavier and less efficient than the A320neo and 737 MAX despite benefitting from a more modern nose shape. The fact that the major parts made by COMAC are the very systems that hold the performance of the plane back doesn't reconcile with the fact that there are domestic subsystems that are near or on performance parity with foreign subsystems.
  • The C929, COMAC's next project, started with an MOU with UAC and Russia, which doesn't at all suggest that COMAC is ready to build an aircraft out of mostly domestic systems anytime soon.
  • While evaluating the engines for the C919 over 10 years ago, serious consideration was given to domestically produced engines but they were rejected due to the performance difference. If COMAC were OK with domestic engines, surely they'd be OK with domestic avionics, fuel systems, landing gears, etc.?
First of all, high speed trains are a very nice example of Chinese ability to absorb and built on to cutting edge technology. I do not want to go off topic too much since my point was just to exemplify Chinese engineering capability. However, you are inflating number of countries which can actually built state of art high speed rail. It is only handful: Germany, Japan, Canada, France and now China. Anyhow, we can talk about rocket engines, fighter planes, super computers, nuclear power plants, solar panels, satellites or any high tech item you can name. 15 years ago China was not a significant player, now is.

I am trying to say that China can build a competitive civilian plane with less foreign input in very near future.

You wrote your response based on what China has today and, I feel, with underestimation what can be done in coming years. If last 20 years were any indication you may be surprised.

I am not even trying to convince you with potential prowess of Chinese R&D or engineering talent, time will be the judge. I just wanted to state my opinion. Hope to meet with you here in 10 years to discuss the situation in 2027. You might see a much more "Chinese" C919 and Chinese-Russian C929 (like Airbus is product of 4 European countries).
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Old June 21st, 2017, 12:16 AM   #200
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Has the C919 flown many more flights since it's first flight? Would love to see some fottage of it with the gear up!
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