China and Russia to take on Boeing and Airbus with new wide-body jet
Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has revealed a prototype of a wide-body long-haul airplane that has been developed in cooperation with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, a state-owned aerospace manufacturer.
A model of the CR929, a jointly designed jet, was demonstrated at the opening of China’s largest airshow, which began in the coastal city of Zhuhai on November 6 and is set to last until the end of the week.
The plane, which is set to make its maiden flight in 2023, is expected to eventually compete with the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787.
“Our program is making progress and is on schedule,” UAC President Yury Slyusar said, as quoted by CNBC. “It is currently in the preliminary design phase and we are also in the supplier and equipment selection phase, which will finish by the end of 2019.”
The prototype fuselage, which was 22 meters long, 6.5 meters tall and 5.9 meters wide, revealed a spacious interior with nine-abreast basic seating in economy class. The salon is equipped with two rows of first-class seats, three rows of business-class seats, and four rows of economy-class seats. The CR929’s cockpit is equipped with dummy instruments, as the actual systems are yet to be chosen.
The basic version CR929-600 is projected to carry 280 passengers over a distance of up to 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles). The aircraft family will reportedly include a modification with an extended fuselage (CR929-700) and a shortened fuselage (CR929-500). The aircraft length will be 63.25 meters, with a wingspan of 58-61 meters and height of 17.9 meters.
The partners announced plans to work on a wide-body jet program four years ago. The joint venture, dubbed the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), was formed in 2017. The $20-billion program has reportedly sought proposals for the plane’s engine and landing gear.
The engineering center for the development of the aircraft will be located in Russia, according to the chief designer of the CR929 program from the Russian side, Maxim Litvinov.