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Jumbo jet project boon to suppliers
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Foreign aviation suppliers are competing for business opportunities arising from China's plans to build a jumbo jet.

The nation is set to unveil a model of the commercial jet in two weeks.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), which is in charge of the domestic jumbo jet project, will present a miniature of the homemade passenger jet C919 at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress in Hong Kong between Sept 8 and 10, the expo organizer said.

It will be the debut appearance of C919, it said. For the first homemade jumbo jet, the letter C represents China as well as COMAC, the first 9 implies forever in Chinese culture, and 19 means the jet will have 190 seats.

As COMAC is pushing ahead with the homegrown passenger aircraft project, it has also accelerated talks to pick global partners for the program.

The company has been intending to invite global cooperative partners to participate in its development plan.

Wu Guanghui, chief designer of the program and deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based COMAC, said earlier that the aircraft will be designed and assembled in Shanghai, but will source parts and components globally, which is a model adopted by the two dominant aircraft groups, Boeing and Airbus.

He said his company will choose international suppliers through bidding, but priority will go to foreign suppliers that design and manufacture products with domestic companies in China.

The work of choosing suppliers is expected to be completed this year, Wu said in March.

During the past 40 days, executives from major global aviation suppliers have paid intensive visits to COMAC, after the latter issued the invitation for tender on July 10 for engines and airborne equipment to be used on C919.

Visitors included top managers of Honeywell, HP, Zodiac, Liebherr and Moog, according to the COMAC website reports.

Because foreign suppliers are encouraged to enter into partnerships with Chinese manufacturers, Goodrich Corp made an attempt on Aug 12 to sign contracts with Xi'an Aircraft International Corp (XAIC) to form its first two overseas joint ventures, to manufacture landing gear and engine compartment components.

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