China's efforts to produce a completely Chinese designed and manufactured commercial jetliner are entering a new phase, as work starts in Shanghai to develop the plane's engines.
On Sunday China's largest plane maker along with local enterprises in Shanghai jointly launched a new company that will produce engine parts for the national jumbo jet project. The AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine company says the partners are looking for other domestic and overseas investors to fund the remaining 30 percent share of the venture.
Zhang Jian, General Manager of AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co. said "Our main target is to research and develop engines to equip our home-made jumbo planes."
The firm says it may take 15 years to go from R&D to the market. Sample engine parts are expected to be finished as early as 2017. China has merged its two largest aircraft makers to form AVIC. The company is aiming to become a world class plane producer with a lineup of globally competitive products. Among them a 150 seat jumbo jet.
Zhang Jian said "We hope China's home-made plane engines will help our own planes to hit the blue sky, with premier quality and at a fairly low cost too."
China decided to focus on production of big jets as a key state project in 2006 thereby entering the fiercely competitive, global aviation industry.
(CCTV January 19, 2009)