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China-made C919 to compete with Airbus, Boeing

THE Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd will call its first large passenger jet, due to roll off the production line in eight years, the C919, said its chief designer, Wu Guanghui.

"C represents China as well as COMAC, the abbreviation for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd," said Wu, who is also the deputy general manager of the plane's manufacturer.

"The name also reflects our determination to compete in the international market for jumbo jets. C919 comes after Airbus and Boeing so you will have ABC in the aviation industry," said Wu, a political advisor who is in Beijing attending the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The first "9" in the name implies forever in Chinese culture, while 19 refers to the 190 seats on the large jet, he said.

Wu said that his company will choose suppliers of engines, airborne equipment and materials through international bidding, and will encourage foreign suppliers to enter into partnership with Chinese manufacturers.

"We will choose foreign-manufactured products like engines at the beginning phase, but we will also independently do the research and manufacturing work at the same time," Wu said.

The Shanghai-based COMAC was set up last May. It has a registered capital of 19 billion yuan (US$2.78 billion), with the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission the biggest shareholder.

Wu said the large passenger jet project involves 47 institutions from China and abroad, and that the preliminary technical design plan and commercial feasibility study have been completed.


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