Russia and China will create a joint aircraft

The creation of a long-haul liner will cost the countries $ 13 billion.
The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC, belongs to the state) and the Chinese state-owned company COMAC agreed on the general view of the wide-body long-haul aircraft CR929, the UAC press service reported. Agreements were reached on the main geometric characteristics of the ship: the swing and shape of the wing, the length of the fuselage, the size of the nose and tail of the fuselage, the size and shape of the tail, the location of engines, chassis and doors, the release says. Specific parameters are not called. The general view of the aircraft was agreed by the joint Russian-Chinese engineering team JET-team, headed by the chief designers on both sides, Maxim Litvinov and Chen Inchun.

CR929 is developed by China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), registered in Shanghai, in which UAC and SOMAS own 50% each.

"The coordination of the general view of the CR929 aircraft by the parties is the most important step for further formation of the uniform technical appearance of the CR929 family aircraft," the words of Litvinov are reported in the UAC message. "This provides a transition to the stage of full-scale joint study of the design and systems of the aircraft, including potential suppliers of equipment and components."

Now the program CR929 is in the Gate-3 phase. In addition to agreeing on the general type of aircraft, it involves carrying out experimental research in the field of aerodynamics, selecting structural materials, analyzing technical and commercial offers of potential suppliers of key systems and equipment. The completion of this stage is expected by mid-2019.

At the Gate 1 stage, the marketing rationale for the program and its investment attractiveness was obtained, the cost and terms of implementation were determined, the concept of the aircraft was formed, the necessary technologies were identified, the representative of the UAC said. Gate 1 was passed in April 2014. During Gate 2, passed in December 2017, the requirements of potential customers were received, the main characteristics of the aircraft were determined - a pre-design was approved, a family concept was developed, a preliminary list of potential suppliers of systems and equipment was determined, main risks of the program.

The development of the liner and the creation of production facilities will cost $ 13 billion, another $ 7 billion will go to the system of supply of spare parts, marketing and sales support - subsidies and a guarantee of residual value, said in the feasibility study of the project that the UAC prepared in 2016. Expenditure Russia and China will be borne equally. The CR929 should become a global competitor to the wide-body aircraft of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus 350 and exceed them by 10-15% in terms of operational efficiency, the feasibility study said.

In the segment of long-haul wide-bodied liners, the absolute duopoly of Airbus and Boeing corporations now reigns. In the segment of medium-haul narrow-bodied aircraft, the most capacious regional vessels produced by the Brazilian Embraer and Canadian Bombardier compete with them; in 2020, the Russian MC-21 will also enter the market.

The first firm contract for the Russian-Chinese CR929 is planned to be concluded in 2019, the first flight will take place in 2023, the start of deliveries - in 2026, it was said in the feasibility study of the project.

In May, Aviation Week's publications and the Air Transport Review wrote that the fuselage width of the CR929 has significantly increased during the development process, now the economy class cabin is able to accommodate nine seats in a row. Because of this, the aircraft will need engines with a higher thrust - 35.4 tons, instead of the declared in 2015 32.3-34.0 tons. In the first years of the liner production, it is planned to use engines of foreign manufacture, the UAC informed that proposals have already been received from potential suppliers. Subsequently, Russian PD-35, which is currently being developed by the United Engine-Building Corporation, will be used.

The program is designed until 2045, during this period it is planned to sell about 800 CR929 airliners, a representative of the UAC reported earlier.