China eyes space in commercial aviation industry with debut of C919, taking on market dominated by Airbus and Boeing
Looking to challenge the commercial aviation industry, Chinese manufacturer COMAC has released their first finished aircraft to the public. Named the C919, the commercial jet is the first of two aircraft types set to be in produced by the Shanghai-based factory.
The C919 was debuted in a nationally-televised ceremony, displaying the brand new aircraft finished by the facility. Specifications provided by COMAC show the aircraft is comparable in many ways to the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. The aircraft can accommodate up to 168 passengers in an all-economy layout, with a range of over 2,500 miles. By comparison, the Airbus A320 has a capacity of approximately 150 passengers with a range of 3,300 miles, while the Boeing 737-700 has a maximum capacity of 149 passengers with a range of 3,300 miles.
Although the C919 is completed in China, not all of the parts come from the nation. According to CNN, many parts of the aircraft come from both the United States and France, including avionics, auxiliary power units and wing anti-ice systems.
The celebration comes as aircraft manufacturers are starting to respond to China’s increased demand for commercial aircraft, due to the rise of passenger traffic. In September 2015, Boeing announced a major investment in the Chinese marketplace, including building a finishing center on the mainland to complete 737 aircraft ordered by Chinese operators.
According to Air Transport World, the state-run airframe company has received over 500 orders for the C919, compared to the combined 729 net orders for the Airbus A320 family and the 334 net orders for the Boeing 737.
[Photo: Getty Images]