C929 widebody

“Chinese Boeing 787” in the final design phase, says COMAC

Widebody C929 was taken over by COMAC after Russia abandoned the CRAIC joint venture in 2023

After launching the ARJ21 regional jet and the C919 single-aisle aircraft, Chinese planemaker COMAC is moving forward with the C929, a widebody similar in size to the Boeing 787.

According to COMAC marketing director Zhang Xiaoguang, the aircraft is in the final design stage, in a statement made at a conference in Shanghai on Tuesday, Reuters said.

COMAC intends to receive the first fuselage front section produced by Huarui Aero in September 2027, but a possible entry into service is still uncertain.

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The widebody was born as the CR929, a joint venture between the state-owned companies COMAC and UAC (Russia) called CRAIC. But in 2023, the Russians left the program amid difficulties with other projects such as the MC-21 commercial jet.

CR929 mockup
Widebody CR929 mock-up: program could be affected by American boycott of Chinese (UAC)

The C929 will have between 280 and 400 seats and possibly three variants. The estimated range is 12,000 km, slightly lower than the Western 787 and Airbus A330 models.

Like the C919, the new widebody would depend on Western suppliers as China is not yet self-sufficient in several segments such as turbofan production.

The CR929, for example, should be equipped with the PD-35 engine, supplied by Russia, and which is in the initial phase of development, but the uncertainties facing the country’s industry make it more likely that COMAC will seek a supplier like Rolls -Royce, GE or Pratt & Whitney.


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