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Ventures take off for aero firms
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Xi'an Aircraft International Corporation (XAIC) and Goodrich Corporation signed agreements yesterday to form two joint-venture companies that will be involved in the manufacture of landing gear and nacelle (engine compartment) components.

The forming of the two companies marks Goodrich's first overseas joint-ventures (JVs). Goodrich Landing Gear and Goodrich Aerostructures will work with XAIC on the projects.

Both joint-venture companies will be owned equally by Goodrich and XAIC.

The dollar value of the undertaking has not been disclosed.

The new companies will be located in Yanliang national aviation hi-tech base in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

The new companies will compete for market share in China's first home-made jumbo jet C919 single-aisle commercial aircraft that is currently under development. They will also manufacture landing equipment and nacelle components and subassemblies for other aircraft.

The new ventures will bring together XAIC's expertise in high-quality aerospace manufacturing and Goodrich's leading market positions on landing gear for large commercial aircraft, said XAIC President Meng Xiangkai.

"They will help XAIC become a key supplier for aircraft and aerospace manufacturers," Meng said.

Goodrich President and CEO Marshall Larsen believed the two agreements will make XAIC and Goodrich "more competitive" in the global aviation market.

"They will allow us to build a world-class competitive manufacturing environment for both landing gear, starting with the Boeing 737, and for nacelle parts, starting with the brand-new Boeing 787," said Larsen.

"We also believe they will give us an opportunity, as JVs, for both XAIC and Goodrich to participate in the C919."

The companies hope to assemble their first 737 landing gear by the end of the year and localize production and assembly in 18 months.

Goodrich already has equipment in Xi'an and is beginning to manufacture nacelle parts, said Larsen.

Larsen said the two JVs will help XAIC's participation in jumbo jet production.

"I'm certain that they will learn from it at some point in time. That's going to be something for the future that we have to consider," he said.

XAIC is a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). AVIC is a large-sized aviation industry enterprise integrated with scientific research and production.

XAIC is a base for developing and manufacturing large and medium-sized airplanes in China. AVIC earned a place in Fortune's Top 500 enterprises in July, becoming the first Chinese aircraft manufacturer to make the list. Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense and homeland security markets.

(China Daily August 13, 2009)

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