Today has debuted the first major commercial airliner manufactured in China by the company COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China). The COMAC C919 has a range of 5,555 km, capacity of between 156 and 168 passengers, with an interior disposition of a single aisle and a similar sized Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 . However, although present in society now, It is scheduled to take place its maiden flight in 2016 if there are no delays, and to fly commercially in 2018.
The truth is that, as often happens with such initiatives in China have taken the development of an own aviation industry as a mix between a matter of state and business , after a failed attempt to enter this industry in the early 80. And the C919 has become his new airplane battle at a time in which aircraft are sold like hotcakes. In fact, it is estimated that China will need more than 6,300 aircraft over the next two decades, so better to be "Made in China"
A Chinese plane, but not both
So far, there has already been one who has made it clear that the aircraft is not completely domestic product . It would be strange if it was, all told, considering that COMAC only has experience with making an airplane prior to the C919 , the ARJ21, short range and can accommodate up to 105 passengers. And there are public lists of suppliers of equipment and components. This is not a state secret or anything.
The ARJ21 is a short-range aircraft developed and manufactured prior to the C919 by COMAC. COMAC is working with the manufacturer Bombardier in the manufacture and development of its aircraft.
It will be that what matters is not whether the aircraft is completely Chinese or not. Engines possibly end up being manufactured locally at some point to reduce maintenance costs by foreign companies and especially if curdle potential for commercial aircraft projects two halls for 300 and 400 passengers as would be the C929 and C939. And other components may also be designed in China but in the end what will be decisive is whether the plane will be sold or not.
A low cost low cost air companies?
The price of the C919 has not been made public, although it is estimated, as more or less artisanal calculations of some analysts, the price of each unit would be around $ 70 million .If we consider that the price list Airbus 2015 (yes, they have official and public list prices) speaks of a price of 97 million dollars for the Airbus A320, we are facing a substantial reduction that low cost carriers is not negligible.
There are more variables at play, of course, such as maintenance, fuel costs, and so on . They are expenses that must be added to the investment in the equipment itself, but it is important from an attractive price. For now, their specifications talk about 90,000 flight hours or 30 years .
The C919 competes directly with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. At the moment will have to wait until 2018 or 2019 to see it flying commercially.
The Boeing 737 are more competitive, with prices starting at approximately $ 74 million to more than 100 million depending on the model. However, COMAC is able to enter this market based on its strong domestic demand, all is said, has already served to have 517 orders from 21 airlines, with Chinese almost all of them. It 's no wonder: the C919 does not have the certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
Would you fly on a Chinese plane?
This is another question that, leaving aside topics, will not be without debate. There is very good news to the aeronautical developments in those parts, with enough registered by other Chinese aircraft incidents like Xian MA60 , that if Wikipedia data are correct, scary, with 67 units sold and 13 accidents. COMAC has to tread lightly with the C919, because a casualty incident could ruin the future prospects of the company forever.
According to Airbus , the number of aircraft of more than 100 passengers will increase to 38,500 in 2020 compared to the current 19,000. The business opportunity is such that in the end, even Apple will eventually make airplanes.