A CR929 widebody passenger aircraft on display at an industry expo in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, earlier this month. [Photo by Chen Jimin/China News Service]
China and Russia plan to jointly develop the aero engine for the CR929, a widebody passenger aircraft that is being co-developed by the two countries, but this may require at least 10 years, said a Russian senior executive.
United Engine Corp of Russia and Aero Engine Corp of China will together develop the engine for the CR929 at a later stage. At the moment, both countries have yet to master the related skills and will choose other engine suppliers, according to Rostec Corp, the parent company of United Aircraft Corp in Russia, which is responsible for CR929 project implementation on the Russian side.
Only a few engine makers, including US multinationals General Electric Co and Pratt& Whitney, and British aero engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, can manufacture aero engines for longrange, twin-aisle passenger jets such as the CR929.
"The development of key aircraft components is bringing us closer to our strategic goal, of the first flight of the aircraft scheduled for 2025-28," said Viktor Kladov, Rostec's director for international cooperation and regional policy.
"The CR929 project is perhaps the key area of cooperation between China and Russia in the civilian sector. In the next 20 years, demand for such aircraft in the Chinese market and other Asia-Pacific countries will amount to hundreds of aircraft of that class," Kladov said.
Meanwhile, Rostec said the R&D to design the landing gear concept for the CR929 has been completed. Russian specialists earlier made a presentation for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China in Shanghai on the fire protection and crew oxygen supply systems for the new aircraft.
Last year, China Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp (CRAIC)－a joint venture of UAC and COMAC－opened its office for the CR929 project in Shanghai.
The joint venture is functioning as the operator of the program and is responsible for separating the duties, establishing relevant engineering centers in the countries and selecting contractors, including developers, and first and second-level suppliers, from among the subsidiaries of Rostec, the Chinese participants and foreign companies, according to Rostec.
The CR929, which aims to break the duopoly of US manufacturer Boeing and European maker Airbus in the widebody passenger aircraft sector, will mainly target markets in China, Russia and other Asia-Pacific countries after it is put into commercial use. Its competing models include the Airbus' A330 and Boeing's B787.