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China names first jumbo jet C919, to take off in 8 years
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China has named its first home-made jumbo jet C919, which will take off in around eight years, its chief designer Wu Guanghui said on Friday.

"C represents China as well as COMAC, the abbreviation for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd," said Wu, who is also the deputy general manager of COMAC, the manufacturer of C919.

"The name also reflects our determination to compete in the international market for jumbo jet. C919 comes after Airbus and Boeing, so you will have ABC in the aviation industry," said Wu, a political advisor who is here attending the annual session of 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The first 9 in the name implies forever in Chinese culture, while 19 means the first jumbo jet produced by China will have 190 seats, he said.

Wu said that his company will choose suppliers of engines, airborne equipment, and materials through international bidding, and will encourage foreign suppliers to enter into partnership with Chinese manufacturers.

"We will choose foreign-manufactured products like engines at the beginning phase, but we will also independently do the research and manufacturing work at the same time," noted Wu.

The Shanghai-based COMAC was set up in May, 2008 after approval in early 2007 by the State Council, China's Cabinet. It has a registered capital of 19 billion yuan (US$2.78 billion), with the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission as the biggest shareholder.

Wu said the jumbo jet project now involves 47 institutions from China and abroad, and that the preliminary general technical design plan and commercial feasibility study have been completed.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2009)

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