China has produced new aircraft before.
Numerous gliders and trainers were developed.
They also have done good work developing the AN
-24 turboprop into effectively a new family of turboprops.
So we're not talking starting from a cold start. While the scope is greater, we've seen other airframes make the jump with fewer issues.
|Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 7):|
I think you're underestimating the scale of the task involved for the Chinese.
We will have to disagree due to the amount of off the shelf work done for the ARJ-21. The Chinese have made aircraft before. They have organized the production lines.
Will they improve? Sure. But their need to push off decisions so that their boss and their boss' boss make the decision creates huge delays and issues. For the further up the chain one goes, the less technical the management and the decision floats above the point of technical competence.
Again, I expected 2 to 3 years of delay due to inexperience. The rest their management structure deserves all the credit. This was *not* a high risk project. Most of the hard decisions were made before the program was launched!
Should COMAC have hired an integrator (a la Irkut)?
In some ways GE
did some of that work as well as Rockwell.
|Quoting rampart (Reply 11):|
ut they had Max Holste as the lead engineer, who brought in that generation of experience. A jumpstart rather than a cold start.
That is typical. AVIC/COMAC should be hiring that western talent and listening to them! For example, Northrop cut his teeth at Lockheed and then became a for hire specialist to Douglas, Curtis, and Lockheed. No one works in a vacuum. For the 787, Boeing hired in talent they needed. Pratt hired in gear experts for the GTF
There was talent available. Why wasn't it hired?
|Quoting r2rho (Reply 10):|
Problem is that the ARJ21 is made by AVIC, and the C919 by COMAC. I have doubts whether there is really much knowledge transfer happening, but I am not 100% familiar with how the companies are set up.
Some of the AVIC teams are being transferred to COMAC (e.g., the flight test department). There is enough transfer. If not, expect major delays with the C919. My point is that the Chinese are not even learning from their own lessons, due to their management structure, and that will mean lessons have to be re-learned.
|Quoting r2rho (Reply 10):|
They jumped over a lot of intermediate steps there, the learning curve must be tremendous.
There is only a little more to be learned. Yes, the risk is higher, but the basic principles of aircraft design do not change between a turboprop and an RJ
. The RJ
was today's stepping stone (as China has already done turboprops). While the basic turboprop was copied, the stretches and improvements were engineered.
And if you think that is a leap, try engines. They wish to develop an engine for the C919.
Talk about a great leap forward... There are more lessons to be learned developing a large commercial engine than the entire ARJ-21 project!
Can they do it? Sure. But are they willing to change their management structure to do so?