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Comac C919 Competitiveness  
User currently offlineBOACVC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 614 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10373 times:

just read several articles on the upcoming announcement of the COMAC C919, a made-in-china-with-global -help aircraft. What advantages will it have over global inventory of non-China aircraft designs at its EIS, or are there any significant issues that will relegate the design of the C919 to be suitable for predominantly domestic China market?

Bloomberg article


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48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineThe Shadow From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10330 times:

The ARJ-21 will be more than four years late when (if!) it enters service in 2H 2011. I remember the first mockups of the ARJ at the Paris air show more than six years ago.

On the other hand, the Sukhoi Superjet will only be two or so years late when (if) it enters service in December this year

How will the next Russian and Chinese airliner progs do? Should we make some assumptions based on the regional jet experiences... I do think that the Superjet's capacity to pickup at least some Western orders will tell us something about the MS-21's capacity to be more than a political project.

As for the ARJ-21, I really doubt it will pick up any real orders in the West but the C919 might surprise us....


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31055 posts, RR: 87
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 10215 times:
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Quote:
Government-controlled Comac may sell more than 2,000 C919s worldwide over 20 years, [CACC Deputy General Manager Yuan] Wenfeng said in February.

100 C919 sales a year?

Heck, Boeing does that in a good week with the 737NG.  


User currently offlinealangirvan From New Zealand, joined Nov 2000, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10089 times:

Quoting BOACVC10 (Thread starter):
What advantages will it have over global inventory of non-China aircraft designs at its EIS

Specifications a year ago showed a plane with about 10% more seats than an A320 in mixed seating, and about an hour's longer range - about 3000 miles compared with 2500 miles. So if you ask what advantage over today's A320 that is what they hope for.

So, it would be a good plane for JetBlue since it would do US transcon flights. It would have the range to do US West Coast to Hawaii.

It almost matches what a 738 can do today, but with a later engine. By the time the CA919 enters service, people will know what is coming from Airbus and Boeing.

Ability to carry 167 passengers for six hours may be useful in some markets.

The Chinese carriers who are likely to order it already have large fleets of Airbus and Boeing single aisle planes. Will they use the CA919 on big showpiece routes like Shanghai to Beijing? Will they be happy to use it on routes like Shanghai to Hong Kong? They will need a plane that is as reliable as their current fleet, and with good passenger appeal. If they want to export the CA919 they have to show that they can support it anywhere in the world. Export markets might include African countries where China is building up trade relations.

Will they follow Airbus with the A300 deal with Eastern - try them to see if you like them? The CA919 would need to be assessed by LCCs to see if it could do many sectors in one day with 30 minute turn arounds (about 190 passengers in single class ). I think they would have a target of at least one order from Europe, and one order from North America.


User currently offlineBOACVC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9989 times:

Quoting alangirvan (Reply 3):
I think they would have a target of at least one order from Europe, and one order from North America.

Is it appropriate then to think that their biggest challenge is to establish such a major product in domestic and international markets, at the inception instead of organic growth plans? For example, Chinese airlines would be used to the reliability of foreign sourced aircraft by C919 EIS, and they would have to be convinced (I thiink) to buy "domestic" .. . ? Sounds like a fascinating case for a business school feasibility analysis.



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User currently offlinePanAm_DC10 From Australia, joined Aug 2000, 4165 posts, RR: 90
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9589 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
100 C919 sales a year?

Heck, Boeing does that in a good week with the 737NG

If the following report is correct then it appears that the C919 will have a good week starting at the Zhuhai Air Show

Aviation Industry Corp. of China expects “hundreds” of orders for the nation’s first single- aisle passenger jet at this week’s Zhuhai air show, bolstering efforts to compete with Airbus SAS and Boeing Co.

Customers for the C919 will likely include domestic airlines and overseas leasing companies, Zhang Xinguo, vice president of state-controlled AVIC, said today at a press conference in Zhuhai, southern China. “During this air show, I believe hundreds” of orders will be announced, he said.


Source - Bloomberg



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User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31055 posts, RR: 87
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9291 times:
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Quoting PanAm_DC10 (Reply 5):
If the following report is correct then it appears that the C919 will have a good week starting at the Zhuhai Air Show

I wonder if the ARJ-21 failing her wing-stress test will have any effect on the C919.

ARJ 21 Delayed--Wing Problems (by Lumberton Nov 15 2010 in Civil Aviation)

Yes, two different programs and the C919 is still in development, but it appears that CAAC's modeling is not as accurate as it needs to be, so will the C919 see additional structure built into her design to account for this, with a consequentially negative impact on performance?


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9043 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Quote:
Government-controlled Comac may sell more than 2,000 C919s worldwide over 20 years, [CACC Deputy General Manager Yuan] Wenfeng said in February.

100 C919 sales a year?

Heck, Boeing does that in a good week with the 737NG.

Yes, but Comac doesn't need to sell as many a/c as A&B to be successful. The C919 is not there to kick A&B out of the market, but merely to gain a foothold and keep the Chinese aviation industry steadily progressing. Step by step, just like they are - successfully -doing with their space program, which the call "Long March" for a good reason.

Airbus's latest market forecast sees 17000 single-aisle a/c in the next 20 years. Selling 2000 would mean grabbing 12% of that market. I think they can easily grab 5%, probably grab 7-8%, and very optimistically could do 10-12%. And they can do that without having to be succesful in the West, which is not the only aviation market anymore, although we Westerners seem to forget that.

Anyway, this should give them a good head start :
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...c919-order-for-up-to-100-jets.html


User currently offlineSchorschNG From Germany, joined Sep 2010, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8994 times:

The C919 is basically a copy of the A320 with some added seats (while COMAC is extremely unspecific about cabin configuration). For me the aircraft seems anything but fixed. I would say that an A320 NEO is competitive in terms of fuel burn, while the extra ~1m of fuselage length might appeal to some operators. As long as they don't add another exit they can't use it for more than the 180 seats anyways.

A320 wasn't build by idiots, and merely copying it will not represent the step change people expect.
Adding range is actually the wrong way of cutting fuel burn on the average sector length, which is more in the vicinity of ~500nm for most operators (a bit more in North America).



From a structural standpoint, passengers are the worst possible payload. [Michael Chun-Yung Niu]
User currently onlinesirtoby From Germany, joined Nov 2007, 380 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8985 times:

Quoting alangirvan (Reply 3):
Specifications a year ago showed a plane with about 10% more seats than an A320 in mixed seating, and about an hour's longer range - about 3000 miles compared with 2500 miles. So if you ask what advantage over today's A320 that is what they hope for.

The A320 has a range of 3100nm (77t MTOW, V2500 engines).
If the C919 will be competitive compared to the A320/B737 hinges solely on the engines, otherwise it is a minor derivative of the A320.


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 8904 times:

I think for the last 2 years people have been stumbling over each other in dismissing the C919.

The leading background assumption here seems to be that the a320 and 737 duopoly is basicly untoucheable. Look at their backlogs and reliability! How many C919 have been sold/ flown anyway ?! Dig up some old Chinese projects and see..

I see it a little different.

   The Chinese aren't stupid and bought the best available from the Airbus and Boeing supply chains, and tapped into iddle Russian resources too
   They are making sure there is some scale to start with (today is the kick-off)
   There is high level commitment, backed by a big hard cash pipeline.
   The Chinese banks / institutions financed many of the global Airbus and Boeing sales during the last 3 years anyway. Is Beeing in control? Yes of course they are. With the airlines, Comac, banks..
   The Chinese captured many markets before. Where do you think your fancy keyboard/screen are made? (with Dell in the US?, Acer or a Nokia factory in Finland?Apple in California? forget it..)
   The Rockwell and Honeywell Avionic, GE GENX engines, Liebherr, Hamilton Sundstrand, aren't they the best components you can get, including a global support network?

For the next 5 years Comac will march on, regardless of what Boeing and Airbus do or say. IMO when the C939 enters service, the market will look different. IMO the 737 aint as hot as many think / hope and it will take Boeing some valuable time to regain a good value position.



[Edited 2010-11-16 05:06:32]

User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8866 times:

Some specifications have been released:

C919 A320
length 38.9m 37.6m
wingspan 35.8m 34.1m
height 11.95m 11.76m
cabin width 3.9m 3.7m
PAX All-Y 168 180
PAX 2-class 156 150

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-releases-c919-specifications.html

The C919 has 1m more fuselage length and wingspan, but we don't know cabin length so it's hard to predict cabin capacity, nor do we know wing area so we cannot determine aspect ratio. It will be slightly higher than the A320, so should have more clearance for a large fan. Noteworthy is the 20cm wider cabin. This won't be enough to allow for another seat but would ease a/c turnaround. I also find the all-Y PAX number too low, unless it is a very comfortable config.

In any case, with the bits and pieces of info available today, too much is still open to speculation.


User currently offlineparapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1588 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8854 times:

I asked on the other 919 thread (why do people start 2 threads on the same subject?) what it's nearest compeditor was.This has been answered here (10% bigger with longer range).If that is the case then it is exactly a A321 wingletted aircraft with (probably) the same NEO LeapX engines.

If so then it really does make some sense of what Airbus is proposing.It has nothing what so ever to do with Boeing (737) and everything to do with the 919 ( and the 757 replacement market).

What Boeing can/will do in response is anyone's guess.But if their aircraft (739 NEO) cannot match/beat these 2 "new" aircraft you can be sure they won't try.


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8844 times:

according to Wiki, Comac 919 will use the CFM LEAP-X engine, so i presume fuel burn is up to par for international standards

the biggest question is whether FAA and JAA will certify it to give Comac enough credibility to build a larger plane that will truly challenge Boeing/Airbus' grip on high-margin wide-bodies


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8774 times:

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 13):
the biggest question is whether FAA and JAA will certify it to give Comac enough credibility to build a larger plane that will truly challenge Boeing/Airbus' grip on high-margin wide-bodies

I think they are one step further. They'll certify the ARJ and take on Airbus' and Boeings cashcow duopoly with the C919 series.


Meanwhile they will increase A320 production rate in Tjinjan, switch to NEO, pull in an Embraer facility, push the Cseries production / financing and increase their share in new Airbus and Boeing programs.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8688 times:

Looking at the thread title, the C919 only needs to be good enough not to sink Chinese airlines ordered to buy it. It does not have to be as competitive as western NB's. It will be interesting to see if it is the only NB available with the range to fly US transcon easily when it eventually becomes available.

If Chinese airlines are ordered to buy a few hundred over the course of the next 2 decades, it wil have been a successful first foray into the NB market. Should COMAC come up with something that is actually competitive (inc establishing good worldwide support), all the better.


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8614 times:

Quoting art (Reply 15):
Should COMAC come up with something that is actually competitive (inc establishing good worldwide support), all the better.

I think the parts of the C919 that need most support (avionics, engines, etc) are already supported because they are manufactured in the west and used by Airbus and Boeing too..

CFM LEAP-X


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6924 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8591 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 10):

The Chinese aren't stupid and bought the best available from the Airbus and Boeing supply chains, and tapped into iddle Russian resources too

I often disagree with Keesje, but I am in complete agreement here. If there is to be a new entry into the large airliner market it will most likely be the Chinese, and if they do a good job with the C919 that will be the plane that gets them started. If they can build a plane that is just as capable in every way as the A&B offerings, just as reliable, and less expensive, they will be well on their way. It will not happen overnight, and the first step is to conquer the domestic Chinese market and prove themselves. They need to prove the plane, prove their ability to support it, and most important, prove that it is just as safe as A&B. If they do, then they will undoubtedly grow into a viable competitor, and will launch bigger planes. I expect this to happen, and the best outcome will be that the duopoly becomes a triopoly. The biggest reason I expect the Chinese to accomplish this is that they have the money to do it; I doubt that anyone else does.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5472 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8566 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 14):
I think they are one step further. They'll certify the ARJ and take on Airbus' and Boeings cashcow duopoly with the C919 series.

The Soviet Union/Russia has been trying to do this for decades...(unsuccessfully), and they actually do have a successful aerospace industry. I haven't seen anything proposed by the Chinese in the next decade that will be able to provide any more of a challenge to Boeing or Airbus with western airlines, or even BBD or Embraer.

Quoting keesje (Reply 14):
Meanwhile they will increase A320 production rate in Tjinjan, switch to NEO, pull in an Embraer facility, push the Cseries production / financing and increase their share in new Airbus and Boeing programs.

...and after lunch, they'll revive the 100mpg carburetor, cure cancer, land a man on the moon and turn lead into gold.

Even if the 919 isn't years late and is on spec, it will be until the end of the decade that it will be produced in significant numbers, and even then, they won't be able to fulfill their domestic demand with domestic airliners.



What the...?
User currently offlinedavs5032 From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8460 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
the first step is to conquer the domestic Chinese market and prove themselves.

I think that this will be the easy part. From what I understand, you have a plane being developed by a state-run manufacturer, so it seems inevitable that the state-run Chinese airlines will buy more than enough planes from the start to give the program a healthy start. This would eliminate the risk factor that would usually limit the orders for planes from an unproven maker, would it not? The massively expanding Chinese/Asian market will further aid the process, and will likely keep the orders coming in consistently in the future.

As to whether it can be a A320/737 threat, that's the million dollar question. To get anywhere close to that level, it's going to need to gain confidence from western buyers. This is going to happen only if it can establish a good track record in terms of efficiency, reliability, and safety. Obviously, this will take much more time to accomplish, and I don't see many western orders until 2020 or so by which point the buyers will have had a chance to see how it performs in service.

I'm curious as to how this plane will affect the A/B competition in it's first 10 years or so in that region. Does A or B have more to lose in the Chinese market? Who has more planes in Chinese fleets?


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31055 posts, RR: 87
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8385 times:
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Quoting davs5032 (Reply 19):
I'm curious as to how this plane will affect the A/B competition in it's first 10 years or so in that region. Does A or B have more to lose in the Chinese market? Who has more planes in Chinese fleets?

Well aircraft is one of the major ways that China offsets their large trade deficits with the United States and European Union. The TJN plant, even though it assembles A320s for the domestic Chinese market, still imports most of the parts from the US and EU just as the TLS and XFW FALs do.

So while I expect CAAC to push / order the domestic airlines to buy the C919, I also expect them to continue to buy A320s (as CAS just did) and 737NGs (as CA and MF have done this year).


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6924 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8260 times:

Quoting davs5032 (Reply 19):

As to whether it can be a A320/737 threat, that's the million dollar question. To get anywhere close to that level, it's going to need to gain confidence from western buyers.

This is indeed the question. But I suspect that it will take a while to ramp up production to meet domestic demand, and this will give Western airlines time to assess them. The most important area to prove is that they can match Western safety levels.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7956 times:

Remember that the Chinese "home market" is not limited to China alone - there are a number of developing or underdeveloped countries that China has brought under its economic sphere of influence and with which they have very good trade relationships. They should gladly buy C919's as well. As I said, the C919 can be reasonably successful without selling a single a/c in the West. If on top of that it proves competitive to A&B and sells a few a/c in the West too, all the better for them.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 18):
...and after lunch, they'll revive the 100mpg carburetor, cure cancer, land a man on the moon and turn lead into gold.

Don't know about the other things, but rest assured that they will land a man on the moon, it is just a matter of time.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6688 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7643 times:

About competitively, considering that currently if you want a narrowbody you buy an Airbus or a Boeing, any sale of this C919 anywhere means one less A32S/737 sold !


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7611 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 18):
Quoting keesje (Reply 14):
Meanwhile they will increase A320 production rate in Tjinjan, switch to NEO, pull in an Embraer facility, push the Cseries production / financing and increase their share in new Airbus and Boeing programs.

...and after lunch, they'll revive the 100mpg carburetor, cure cancer, land a man on the moon and turn lead into gold.

Do you think my assumptions are unrealistic?


25 clickhappy : The only thing of value that China buys from the US (and Europe) are commercial aircraft. Take away a large chunk of that trade, and you will see some
26 keesje : It's a little bit more complicated. China financed a good percentage of all Boeing aircraft sales over the last 2 yrs. In general the US ows China mo
27 clickhappy : Your post doesn't make any sense. Are you saying that China has provided loans to Boeing?
28 RoseFlyer : While these are the best companies, I predict that the 919 will probably face delays longer than either the A380 or 787 have faced in its attempts to
29 JoeCanuck : Perhaps some may occur but certainly not in the near future. Even if absolutely everything goes right, it will be the end of the decade before produc
30 keesje : I should have said former Russia. R&D was involved in e.g. wing design. Airbus and Boeing do not agree. IMO it is unwise to look at past Chinese
31 JoeCanuck : It is certainly a factor to be taken into account. Regardless, they just won't have the production to be able to do any more than service part of the
32 Stitch : And when they are ready to mount a serious charge, they will not be competing against the A320 and the 737NG, but instead their replacements.
33 planemaker : When we are talking about the next decade, there is a real possibility that fuel prices will be cheaper. The military have already said that they wan
34 keesje : Unless they decide export is important enough to start it long before local "demand" is satisfied. There is central control of financing, airlines, m
35 planemaker : Read what he said... In case you didn't catch that.... this decade.
36 JoeCanuck : They are mostly competing against the Russians on traditional eastern bloc markets. So far, there is 1 MA-600 flying, which is essentially a glorifie
37 SchorschNG : As people have said the C919 is mostly aimed at domestic market. If it sells there (which is granted as Chinese carriers have to ask for permission to
38 Post contains images mandala499 : The MA-60 is... the MA-600 is a glorified MA-60. If after sales support of the C919 is like the MA-60... it's a dead duck ! It's a DC-9 with reduced
39 SchorschNG : If the market is regulated and airlines don't have to care about a few percent more or less, then basically any aircraft that doesn't emit black smok
40 Aesma : Do they ? Remember those stories about employees trying to steal technology from the Chinese Airbus assembly line. And just having that line means th
41 Post contains links planemaker : No guessing required. It is only common sense that they aren't going to have much of an impact this decade... China's C919 Seems Heavy For A New Tran
42 thediplomat : Ryanair are looking for 738 style aircraft that can fly short haul. Ryanair are also looking for a medium haul (east coast USA) aircraft at the right
43 RayChuang : Interesting question: I wonder why the Chinese have NOT seriously considered something like the Turboliner design suggested by Keesje here, except wit
44 JoeCanuck : The Chinese are smart enough to realise that it is not realistic for their first steps into the airliner business should be baby steps. First they pul
45 keesje : The ARJ-21 has an entirely new wing (Antonov helped) I think the comparison is not entirely fair. The A320 was build for 1 stretch, the C919 for 2. A
46 RayChuang : That would be true in the past, but if the Chinese wants to make a major statement in aviation, why not build something like Turboliner? After all, t
47 JoeCanuck : Well, I'm guessing the reason is because they can't...yet. So far, the relatively simple DC-9 copy is significantly late and still giving them troubl
48 planemaker : Of course to you it isn't "entirely fair" because it demolishes your assertion that the C919 is going to be a threat to A & B this decade... "And
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