Beijing - CRAIC, the joint venture of the Russian United Aircraft Company (UAC) and the Chinese Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), has officially embarked on the Joint Concept Definition Phase of the future widebody jet CR929.

CR929 program chief designer Maxim Litvinov said that the concept definition phase would last until the end of 2019. The aim of the concept definition phase is to provide a more thorough review of the requirements for key systems such as landing gear, air conditioning, avionics and others.

The potential suppliers are also involved in the process.

The current concept definition phase in the CR929 program does not include any work on the engines. In December 2017, the invitation to tender was made public by CRAIC (China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation). Answers are expected by the end of May.

UAC and COMAC aim to put the first CR929 in service between 2025 and 2027. With 280 seats and 12,000 kilometers (6479.4 nautical miles) nonstop range, the new widebody airliner will compete with the Airbus A330neo and the Boeing 787.