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ACAC, Rockwell Collins to make home-grown jets
( 2003-07-25 09:09) (China Daily)

China will start making its first home-grown turbo fan regional jets at the end of this year, industry sources announced yesterday in Shanghai.

The planes will be have their first flights in 2006.

"We will finish the design soon and production will start at the year's end," said Tang Xiaoping, president of AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co Ltd (ACAC), the developer of the new plane.

Tang made the announcement yesterday in a joint press release with US-based Rockwell Collin, which has been chosen by ACAC as the sole avionics supplier for the ARJ21 programme.

According to Tang, ARJ21 planes will be equipped with General Electric engines, Parker Hannifin fuel and hydraulic systems and Liebherr air conditioning and landing gear systems.

"By the end of this month, we will finalize the other suppliers of flight control systems, lighting and other interior equipment," said Tang.

Bob Chiusano, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins Commercial Systems, yesterday spoke highly of the ARJ21 planes, saying the programme is "the right answer to the right market at the right time."

Chiusano revealed his company has signed a co-operation agreement with ACAC to equip 500 ARJ21 planes over the next two decades, in a contract worth US$230 million.

Approved by the State Council, China Aviation Industry Corporation I has launched manufacturing bases in Northwest China's Xi'an, Southwest China's Chengdu and Northeast China's Shenyang, which will build the ARJ21 planes' wings, front and rear sections respectively.

Shanghai Aviation Industrial (Group) Corp is preparing to re-start its suspended aircraft assembly lines to mass-produce the country's first patented regional jets.

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