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November 7, 2018

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CR929 prototype debuts at show

A PROTOTYPE of CR929, the first long-haul jet jointly developed by China and Russia, was unveiled in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, yesterday.

China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp, a joint venture between the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) and United Aircraft Corp of Russia, displayed the full-scale prototype of a part of CR929 at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China.

The part of cockpit and cabin is 22 meters long, 6.5m tall and 5.9m wide. The new jet will be ready for test flight in 2025 and will be delivered to airlines from 2028.

The cockpit has cutting-edge designs and advanced avionics integration. The cabin included first-class suites, business and economy seats.

The jet’s entertainment system and decorative elements were also highlighted in the prototype.

COMAC said the intention was to “display the cabin configuration and allow customers to experience the jet’s market development.”

The wide-body jet will seat 280 and have a range of up to 12,000 kilometers. It will be assembled in Shanghai.

The CR929 project is in the preliminary design stage, a COMAC official said.

COMAC and United Aircraft signed a contract in 2016 and established a joint venture in Shanghai in May 2017.

The C919, China’s first domestically developed narrow-body jet, made its maiden flight on May 5, 2017.

Meanwhile, the first Chinese-made regional passenger jet, the ARJ21-700, received 30 new orders at the show yesterday as COMAC signed an agreement with the leasing unit of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.

In 2016, the company ordered 20 C919s.

Till date, COMAC has got orders for 528 ARJ21 planes from 24 customers, including overseas buyers like the US-based GE Capital Aviation Services and Irish budget carrier Ryanair.

Also yesterday, it was announced that Urumqi Air will receive five ARJ21s as part of COMAC’s agreement with the HNA Group reached earlier this year. The first batch of two jets will be handed over by the end of 2018.

The carrier, which is based in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said the aircraft can resist low-temperature and highland conditions, and are therefore capable of taking off and landing at airports in northwest China.

Currently, the jet’s sole operator Chengdu Airlines is operating eight ARJ21s to 20 Chinese cities. The ARJ21 fleet has transported about 180,000 passengers since the jet started commercial operation in June 2016.

More than 100 ARJ21s will be delivered in the next five years, according to COMAC.


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