2018 Zhuhai Air Show: China, Russia Unveil Life-Size Model of New CR929 Jet
Using the 2018 Zhuhai Air Show as its stage, China and Russia recently unveiled a life-size model of what the two countries have been developing on for quite some time, the CR929. The CR929 is a propose wide-body long-haul jet that is set to challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus.
The Zhuhai Air Show is a biennial expo held in the Chinese coastal city of Zhuhai. The air show will run from Nov. 6 to 11. The air show is regularly used by China in order to highlight or unveil some of the newest developments when it comes to the aviation industry. Viewed by many observers as China's way of flaunting its growing dominance in the said industry.
The CR929 is a joint development between the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The venture presented a model of the futuristic jet's passenger cabin and cockpit. The presentation was attended by top executives from the two state-own aircraft manufacturers.
In a statement, UAC President Yury Slyusar said that the project is making positive progress and is well within its timeline. He added that the project is in its preliminary design phase. The two companies are also in the hunt for suitable equipment suppliers. These preliminary stages are set to finish by the end of next year.
The model present at the 2018 Zhuhai Air Show reveals that the CR929 measures 22 meters long, 5.9 meters wide, and 6.5 meters tall. It has a spacious interior laden with 9-abreast basic seating for the economy class.
As for the model's cockpit, it features dummy instruments. When asked about this, the company said that they are still in the process of choosing their equipment supplier so dummy instruments were used instead.
The CR929 project was first confirmed in 2014, after the announcement that COMAC and the UAC are working on a joint project aimed at developing a widebody jet. Three years after the announcement, the two state-owned plane manufacturers started the development full-scale. In order to streamline the development and cut through bureaucratic hurdles, the two companies formed the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC).
As of this writing, CRAIC has confirmed that proposals for the jet's landing gear and engine have been sent to competent providers. COMAC Chief Designer for the CR929 program Chen Yingchun said that they are seeking for suppliers from around the world, however, he declined to comment whether the trade war between China and the United States will affect their choice.