Feb. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: China’s effort to become a viable commercial aerospace alternative was filled with rocky fits and starts for its two signature airliner programs, the AVIC ARJ-21 and the COMAC C919.
COMAC, a spin off from AVIC and yet another government-controlled entity, is already casting eyes on a 250-seat, twin-aisle design, the C929—ostensibly in a joint venture with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp.
The ARJ-21 regional jet finally entered service after delays of eight years. The C919 target EIS is now 2019, six years after the original date. The first flight hasn’t even taken place.
Chinese officials set a target EIS for the C929 of 2026.
A rough road remains ahead for each program.