https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-econ ... ir-us-techRoll-out of China’s home-grown passenger jet still up in the air as US tech restrictions expected to persist under Joe Biden
Concerns are growing over China’s access to key American-made components for the C919 passenger jet, due to a dependency on US exports
China’s answer to the Boeing-Airbus duopoly on passenger jets still has hurdles to overcome to meet its planned roll-out next year, and not all analysts think it will arrive on time
The C919 relies on imports of a number of crucial parts, from its engines to its flight-control systems, so access to US suppliers such as General Electric (GE), Honeywell International and Rockwell Collins is vital for future deliveries of the new model.
Comac said last year that it aimed to get all of the necessary certificates for the C919 by the end of 2021 – a delay from the previous target of the end of this year – due to technical issues involving its design, manufacturing, airworthiness compliance and operational suitability.
However, Kevin Michaels, managing director of Michigan-based AeroDynamic Advisory, told the Post this month that he expects the C919 to be delivered later than the 2021 target – possibly in 2022 or even 2023 – due to obstacles involving technical issues and CAAC certification.
He added that it is impossible for China to develop its own jet engines, calling this a chronic “Achilles’ heel” for China. The CFM jet engine used on the C919 is 20 years or more ahead of Chinese technology, and was designed for reliability, he added.
Reuters reported in February that the Trump administration was considering blocking GE from selling the LEAP-1C engine to Comac, citing concerns over the possible military applications of the technology. But in the end, the US granted GE a licence to sell the engines to the Chinese company.