Russia and China to agree on location of the CR929 design center

Moscow - The Sino-Russian consortium CRAIC nears to make a choice for the location of the program engineering center for the Sino-Russian widebody jet CR929.

There was a disagreement between the two countries about the location of the design and engineering center of the aircraft. After long debates, Russian officials have finally convinced their Chinese counterparts in Beijing that the center should be headquartered in Russia.

The decision will pave the way for setting a roadmap for the certification campaign of the aircraft, says Denis Manturov, Russia’s minister of industry and trade.

The CR929 engineering and design center will be a separate legal body that will be responsible for obtaining and maintaining the aircraft's type certificate.

The main program headquarter is located in Shanghai, where the final assembly will also be carried out.

First deliveries in 2025

The year 2025 is targeted for the first deliveries, but the slow pace of the program sparkles the debates if the aircraft could arrive on time.

In February, CRAIC Program Director Xie Canjun said that the concept design of the plane should be completed by early 2020, including how wide and how long the aircraft will be, the cabin layout, flight range, and passenger capacity.

In addition to the design concept, engine selection would be another important milestone in the program. During the Zhuhai Air Show last year in China, General Electric and Rolls Royce were announced as the two finalists to supply the engines of the Sino-Russian aircraft until China and Russia jointly develop an engine exclusively for CR929.

But a statement made by the state-run Chinese engine manufacturer Aero Engine Corporation immediately confused Russian side.

AECC executives said at the same event that they expected Aero Engine Corp. to be selected as the ultimate engine supplier for the plane.

The consortium unveiled a full-size mockup of the plane at the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2018.

According to UAC CEO Yury Slyusar, the program has already received order commitments for 200 aircraft.

CR929 is intended to compete with Airbus's A350XWB Family and Boeing's 787 Series widebody jets.