Figure 1. Concept for new wide-body airliner. Source: United Aircraft.
At the same time Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) agreed to establish a joint venture for the program.
What market is this aircraft trying to address and will it become a serious player in the wide-body market? Will it give the duopoly Airbus/Boeing something to worry about?
We will address these questions in a series of articles. Before going into the questions around the wide-body program, we will look at the players, UAC and COMAC. Are they up to the job of making a competitive wide-body aircraft?
Russia and China enter the wide-body project with widely different knowledge bases.
China’s first airliner project, ARJ21, just received local certification after years of delays.
Russia has produced over 10,000 airliners and has made two generations of wide-body aircraft in the size category.
The latest wide-body aircraft, Ilyushin IL-96, is on the level of Airbus A340-300 from a technological basis.