China and Russia have formally registered their joint venture last month to build the Comac C929, a wide-body commercial aircraft.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corp (UAC) said at a ceremony in Shanghai that their common goal is to build a “competitive” commercial aircraft. The joint venture is a challenge to the duopoly of America’s Boeing and Europe’s Airbus, the two largest global aircraft market leaders.
Robert F. Leduc, president of the aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney warned that the capacity of these two companies working together should not be ignored.
“I view Chinese money and Russian acumen as a pretty formidable combination,” said Leduc in an interview with Aviation Daily.
The joint venture is called China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Company (Craic) with each side taking a 50 percent share in the project. The Chinese have dubbed the plane the C929, however, it is unclear if the Russian partner has another name. Shanghai has been designated as the final assembly location, according to the agreement.
The Comac C929 is estimated to cost from $13 to $20 billion and will not be fully operational for at least the next ten years. The proposed seating capacity of the C929 is 290.
COMAC and UAC project a market demand of 7,000 C929 from 2023 to 2045 at an average selling price of $214 million. Their delivery target date is sometime in 2027.
Earlier in May, the C919, COMAC’s first narrow-body passenger jetliner, made its maiden test flights. The conception of this twinjet airliner was launched in 2008 with production beginning on schedule in December 2011. The aircraft’s airframe is largely made out of aluminum and has a seating capacity of 156 to 168 passengers. Over 570 C919s are currently on order for delivery in 2020 to 23 global customers.