China's dream to have self- developed jumbo aircraft is expected
to come true by 2020 if everything goes well, said an expert on
"We are now fairly well conditioned for making large aircraft
with the sound support from growing national economic strength,
technological development and experience in manufacturing," said
Liu Daxiang, deputy head of the Department of Science and
Technology Development under China Aviation Industry Corporation I
The preparation work has been going well, said Liu, also a
deputy to the ongoing parliament session. He added the
government should work out regulations on the development of large
civil aircraft "as soon as possible" to ensure the project
"A home-made large aircraft may inspire the nation like the
country's manned spacecraft program," said Liu. "The project will
also speed technology advance in China's aviation industry and
promote the development of secondary sectors."
China started to build jumbo aircraft in 1970, just two years
after Airbus went into production, but the project was later
shelved despite a promising start.
The central government revived the blueprint, after decades'
suspension, in the 11th Five-Year Plan for the 2006-2010 period
in an aim to meet the country's growing demand for air travel. The
plan was approved by national lawmakers last year.
The jumbo aircraft generally refers to an airfreighter with a
flying-off weight of more than 100 tons or an airliner with more
than 150 seats.
So far, only the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain
and Spain can build jumbo aircraft, with the U.S. producer Boeing
Co. and Europe's Airbus took the lion's share of the International
market, according to Liu.
(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2007)