The largest joint effort between China and Russia in the aviation industry-building the CR929 long-range wide-body jetliner-has begun looking for suppliers, according to Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC).
The company also said in a statement distributed to reporters at the International Aviation and Space Salon 2019 in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, that the CR929 project is now in the preliminary design stage and is proceeding well.
Next, project teams from China and Russia will deepen cooperation to boost research and development of the jumbo jetliner, it added.
COMAC brought a 1:1 model of the CR929’s forward fuselage, consisting of the cockpit and a short section of the passenger cabin, to the Russian air show, which ran from last Tuesday to Sunday.
It was the first time the Chinese airliner manufacturer displayed a large-size model of the CR929 overseas, the company said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the model on Tuesday and boarded it to see the inner arrangement and equipment after they inaugurated the Russian air show that morning.
Research and development of the CR929 was launched in 2016. The next year, China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp was established in Shanghai to take responsibility for the endeavor.
With an initial targeted market in China and Russia, the first version of the aircraft-CR929-600-will be able to fly 12,000 kilometers and carry 280 passengers, according to COMAC.
In another development, COMAC announced during the Russian show that the last two C919 prototypes will be delivered to conduct flight tests around the end of this year.
The C919, COMAC’s first jetliner, conducted a successful maiden flight in May 2017 at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Currently, four of them are in testing. A total of six prototypes of the jetliner will undergo intensive flight tests.
Launched in 2008, the C919 project is China’s first attempt to break the Airbus and Boeing duopoly in more than three decades, after its Y-10 jetliner project was abandoned in the mid-1980s.
The aircraft is set to compete against the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 series. It will be able to carry up to 168 passengers and has a maximum flight range of about 5,500 km.
To date, COMAC has received 815 orders for the C919 from 28 buyers worldwide, according to the company.