When you think aircraft makers, naturally you think Boeing and Airbus, but there is a new China state-owned aircraft maker who says they expect to deliver their first aircraft in 2018.
Per this Yahoo Finance article, the first two of the ARJ21-700 regional jets have been completed for a Chinese carrier, Chengdu Airlines, and are coming to the end of the certification process, according to Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. The company said it has 252 orders.
China launched the ARJ21 project in 2002 in an attempt to break into the Western-dominated aircraft market. The plane was promised for 2007 but delivery was pushed back due to technical problems.
The ARJ21-700 can seat 78 to 90 passengers depending on its configuration, with a range of 2,225 to 3,700 kilometers (1,300 miles to 2,300 miles). Comac said it successfully completed test flights in North America in March and April and has flown 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles).
Comac’s larger C919 is a single-aisle jet meant to compete with Boeing and Airbus Industrie. It can seat up to 168 passengers and has a planned range of 4,000 to 5,100 kilometers (2,500 to 3,200 miles).
Comac is trying to target domestic markets within China before going to international markets. Within the next two decades, China is going to be the largest aircraft market, so rather than buy from Boeing and Airbus, they figured they would make their own planes.
Most of the airlines looking to place orders are China’s state owned airlines, which through government instructions support this program.
What are your thoughts about these new proposed planes? Would you fly them?