China has set a timetable for its large aircraft plan, and the first homemade jumbo jet will take to the skies by no later than the start of the 13th Five-Year Plan Period (2015-20), a senior official said yesterday.
This is the first time a timetable for the trunk liner project has been made public, since the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd was set up in May. The company is in charge of the large plane's assembly, marketing and after-sales service with an initial investment of 19 billion yuan ($2.8 billion).
Miao Wei, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Forum 2008 yesterday that China-made jumbo jets will be on the market between 2015 and 2020.
"We will finish the concept design and research on key technologies before 2010, and have the first plane roll off the production line before 2014," he said.
Even though the domestic passenger transport volume has been dropping recently amid the global economic slowdown, Miao said he had confidence in China's vast demand for new planes.
"In the next 10 years, China will need at least 1,000 new planes," he said.
The corporation, which is also responsible for marketing the homemade regional jet ARJ21, will sign its first overseas order, worth about $750 million, with General Electric Co, at the seventh China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, which opens today.
GE's leasing unit will sign a contract for 25 ARJ21-700s, which raises the company's backlog to 208, Chen Jin, general manager for marketing and sales, said.
Miao said the ARJ21-700 will enter service next year, while work on a 100-seat version, a business-jet model and a freighter will start next year.
According to Miao, "The next few years will be an important period for China's aviation industry".
China has also received 136 orders for the MA 60, a propeller-driven commuter plane, Miao said.
The ministry will draft a mid-and-long-term plan for the aviation industry soon in order to coordinate the development of large planes, regional jets and helicopters, he said.
1. According to a senior Aviation official when will Chinese made jumbo jets be on the market?
2. "In the next 10 years, China will need how many new planes?
1. Between 2015 and 2020.
2. At least 1,000
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.