CRAIC CR929 Widebody Airliner


gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
AFAIK the basic airframe design for the CR929 is done. There are models of it. They showed a real sized mockup of the cockpit too.

Of course it will be hit with sanctions if it progresses enough. Even Bombardier was basically torpedoed by Boeing for an airplane which had next to no market overlap with their products. At best the Bombardier CSeries would overlap with the duopoly once the 500 stretch model came out (which at this point seems like it will never happen). Do you think Boeing and Airbus will sit down while this CR929 airplane competes with their precious cash cows the 787 and A330? Doubtful.

Russia has been running an import substitution program for their smaller MC-21 for like 2 years at least and they started the engine program even before that. I hope that China is doing the same with the C919.

With regards for the CR929 I think without Russia the chances that China can produce a top notch aircraft in that timeframe is slim at best. Sure, there are Western engine suppliers, which might be sanctioned, the only non-North American engine supplier in that list is Rolls Royce and we know who the UK stands with. China has no experience in manufacturing large wings with composites either and even balked at using it in the initial C919 models. I think everyone expects China to build the fuselage and probably the electronics (if the electronics aren't outsourced to some Western company like with the MC-21/C919 to begin with) while Russia would build the wing and perhaps parts of the tail assembly. Probably final assembly will be in China and both countries would have finishing facilities to install the interiors and the seats.
The landing gear might be outsourced to a Western company or built by either nation. It requires special metal alloys but AFAIK the Russians also have designed an import substitute for that. The tires are also typically imported from the West, but AFAIK China has been working on manufacturing those locally. Both nations have air-conditioning manufacturers even if they might not be up to spec yet. I think it is a matter of discussion and there are probably a lot of components which neither side is quite willing to concede on but this can be easily solved given political will I think. You just have to look at similar projects like Airbus A330 or even Boeing's 787 to get an idea of how the workshare would pan out.

The Russians simply don't have enough capital or a market for an aircraft like this. They could likely do all the technology but a lot can as easily be sourced from China or might even be better if it is sourced from China (like the electronics or the air conditioners). Some, like the engines, or the wings would likely be better if built in Russia. So I think the workshare division will happen naturally.
 

Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
The landing gear might be outsourced to a Western company or built by either nation. It requires special metal alloys but AFAIK the Russians also have designed an import substitute for that.

Ha! If only :) It's actually the other way round: Boeing would have to run an import substitution programme to oust the Russians in this regard - 787 landing gear forgings are sourced from VSMPO-Avisma.
 

Orthan

Junior Member
I think it is a matter of discussion and there are probably a lot of components which neither side is quite willing to concede on but this can be easily solved given political will I think. You just have to look at similar projects like Airbus A330 or even Boeing's 787 to get an idea of how the workshare would pan out.

Airbus or Boeing are not examples for the CR929. Those companies outsource their components from allied countries, and they are at the top of the food chain in their market. Russia and china are not allies, alone or together they dont have the tech to compete internationally with the western companies, and so will have to rely on their own markets. But china has a much bigger market than russia and wants to develop its own technologies independent of russia. If china is demanding russia transfer its tech to china, thats no surprise. I even think that getting russian tech transfer may be more important for china than the comercial sucess of CR929 itself.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
AFAIK the basic airframe design for the CR929 is done. There are models of it. They showed a real sized mockup of the cockpit too.

Of course it will be hit with sanctions if it progresses enough. Even Bombardier was basically torpedoed by Boeing for an airplane which had next to no market overlap with their products. At best the Bombardier CSeries would overlap with the duopoly once the 500 stretch model came out (which at this point seems like it will never happen). Do you think Boeing and Airbus will sit down while this CR929 airplane competes with their precious cash cows the 787 and A330? Doubtful.

Russia has been running an import substitution program for their smaller MC-21 for like 2 years at least and they started the engine program even before that. I hope that China is doing the same with the C919.

With regards for the CR929 I think without Russia the chances that China can produce a top notch aircraft in that timeframe is slim at best. Sure, there are Western engine suppliers, which might be sanctioned, the only non-North American engine supplier in that list is Rolls Royce and we know who the UK stands with. China has no experience in manufacturing large wings with composites either and even balked at using it in the initial C919 models. I think everyone expects China to build the fuselage and probably the electronics (if the electronics aren't outsourced to some Western company like with the MC-21/C919 to begin with) while Russia would build the wing and perhaps parts of the tail assembly. Probably final assembly will be in China and both countries would have finishing facilities to install the interiors and the seats.
The landing gear might be outsourced to a Western company or built by either nation. It requires special metal alloys but AFAIK the Russians also have designed an import substitute for that. The tires are also typically imported from the West, but AFAIK China has been working on manufacturing those locally. Both nations have air-conditioning manufacturers even if they might not be up to spec yet. I think it is a matter of discussion and there are probably a lot of components which neither side is quite willing to concede on but this can be easily solved given political will I think. You just have to look at similar projects like Airbus A330 or even Boeing's 787 to get an idea of how the workshare would pan out.

The Russians simply don't have enough capital or a market for an aircraft like this. They could likely do all the technology but a lot can as easily be sourced from China or might even be better if it is sourced from China (like the electronics or the air conditioners). Some, like the engines, or the wings would likely be better if built in Russia. So I think the workshare division will happen naturally.

All these sound good. But here is the bottom line: to get 50% share of the venture without sharing at least some of the key technologies developed just doesn't make a lot of sense for the Chinese for this project. China can give out a minor stake in that case.

If the goal is to have a fleet of twin-aisle large passenger aircraft, it's better and a lot cheaper just to buy from Boeing and/or Airbus. Or for that matter, what's the point of developing C919? China has probably sunk well over $10 billion into the project by now and the number is still counting. By the way, China is also developing a Leap-1C substitute CJ-1000A, which costs another considerable sum.

At least in the civilian aircraft space, there have been no successful precedent for a joint development project between China and other countries. The
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in the '90s was signed because MD was struggle for survival at the time and it died after Boeing acquired MD. The
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a China-South Korea joint development program for a 100-seat regional jet in the '90s, was later canceled due to dispute about program leadership and final assembly sites.

Yes, China does not have all the technologies - yet - for a CR929 type aircraft. But that's precisely the reason that China should invest to develop the technologies/expertise. While the earlier initiatives, from Y-10, MD project, to AE-100, appeared to be a bit of premature in hindsight, given China's development stage now and where it is on the trajectory to develop its civilian aircraft industry base (ARJ-21, C919), the CR929/C929 will be a natural progression in that journey. China is not so much to build a product, but to develop the industry base and capability. CR929/C929 development will take a lot of time and investment, it's also an opportunity for the Chinese civilian aircraft industry that, once missed, is hard to have another shot at this class of aircraft.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
Not really. Once China has experience with the CR929 they will control much of the flow of producing such aircraft and have a leading edge aircraft. The partnership also gives them time to mature their own technologies. Without the partnership China would risk doing what the Indians are doing with their fighter and tank programs i.e. building a new aircraft with next to no design experience. That is typically doomed to fail or if it does come out would be so late it would be obsolete and dead on arrival, like the Mao era attempt at building a commercial aircraft. I am being realistic here.

The Chinese could buy an outside design and manufacture it with their own technologies but they would end up with something more akin to the A330 which is a decades old design by now, let alone when that aircraft would come out. There is a possibility the Russians and Chinese will fall out eventually but if it happens I think it will be because they have different design requirements.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
Not really. Once China has experience with the CR929 they will control much of the flow of producing such aircraft and have a leading edge aircraft. The partnership also gives them time to mature their own technologies. Without the partnership China would risk doing what the Indians are doing with their fighter and tank programs i.e. building a new aircraft with next to no design experience. That is typically doomed to fail or if it does come out would be so late it would be obsolete and dead on arrival, like the Mao era attempt at building a commercial aircraft. I am being realistic here.

The Chinese could buy an outside design and manufacture it with their own technologies but they would end up with something more akin to the A330 which is a decades old design by now, let alone when that aircraft would come out. There is a possibility the Russians and Chinese will fall out eventually but if it happens I think it will be because they have different design requirements.

Looks like we're talking pass each other. Let me repeat/paraphrase what I said above and I'll rest my case.

1. 50% of share doesn't make sense, without sharing key technologies; in other words, joint development is ok without sharing, just not at 50%.
2. We're NOT talking about today's India or Mao's China here. That's straw-man argument.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
I have never heard talk about it being a 50%/50% share anyway, so I don't get that part of your argument.
 

Orthan

Junior Member
Once China has experience with the CR929 they will control much of the flow of producing such aircraft

I dont think that they need CR929 for that.

Without the partnership China would risk doing what the Indians are doing with their fighter and tank programs i.e. building a new aircraft with next to no design experience.

Without tech transfers from the russians, they would end up doing that anyway. But they wont, because they have already built civilian planes, just not at the scale of CR929.
 

Hadoren

New Member
Registered Member
Isn't one of the main points of this to help Russia and the Russian aerospace industry?

Yes, China has an advantageous position and probably will do more than 50% of the work. But Russia needs the money a lot more than China does. Russia is China's most important friend, but its economy is currently not great. China should be doing what it reasonably can to improve Russia's economy, even if it means taking 50% rather than 75%.

So I would advocate giving Russia, say, a 15% share of the Chinese market's revenue. In turn China should get, say, 40% of international revenue.

Of course it goes without saying that all technology must be completely and openly shared.

Just my thoughts.
 

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