(Yicai Global) Jan. 25 -- The CR929, the first long-range wide-body jetliner China and Russia have jointly developed, is set to begin manufacturing this year, Yang Zhigang, pre-research chief engineer of the airliners' Chinese developer the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, said on Jan. 23.
Starting production means confirmation of the plane's shape, size, main structural materials, system design and main suppliers, The Paper reported, citing Yang.
COMAC and Russia's United Aircraft set up a Shanghai-based joint venture in May 2017 to design the CR929. The base model CR929-600, which seats 280 passengers, is benchmarked against the Boeing 787 and has a range of at least 12,000 kilometers.
"If possible, we definitely hope some of the core systems each have two or more suppliers," Yang stated. "In a sense, this provides an insurance mechanism for the continuous operation of our business. Such a [supplier selection] method is also applied in main civil aircraft products in the world."
The newly developed wide-body aircraft is expected to target China, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States as its main markets, with the Asia-Pacific region secondary.
COMAC has successfully developed the ARJ21 90-seater regional aircraft and the C919 158- to 168-seat passenger jet. The ARJ21 has already started commercial flights, while delivery of the first C919 is slated for the end of this year, Yang added.
Editor: Ben Armour, Xiao Yi