By John Herrman
Posting in Aerospace
The company, whose shareholders include the Chinese government, has taken its first major orders--and plans to duke it out with aerospace giants on its own turf.
If you're in charge of purchasing or leasing aircraft for a major airline, your options are pretty limited. You can go with America's home team, the venerable and truly massive Boeing. Or you can go with Airbus, the French-based company whose planes account for around half of the world's commercial fleet.
But as the world sits on the brink of a new and potentially massive surge in demand for airliners, particularly in the developing world, a new company has sprung into view, with naked ambitions to take business from the aerospace powers that be. Not only is it well funded and deep into the design stages of its first commercial airliner, which will debut in 2016--it's already taking orders for hundreds of planes.
To top it all off, it's based in a country long overdue for a commercial air travel revolution, in a region that Boeing itself has claimed will account for half of the world's new air traffic in the next 20 years. Meet Comac, China's soon-to-be aerospace powerhouse.
The company is expected to announce its first orders for commercial airliners at the Zhuhai Air Show, which, as reported by Bloomberg News, are expected to number in the hundreds.
What, exactly, are companies committing to with Comac? For a flagship product, it's somewhat tame: The Comac C919 is a narrow body airliner, cast in the (rough) mold of popular domestic jets like the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. It will seat 160 passengers, most of whom aren't likely to notice the difference between this plane and the last one they flew on.
To be clear, though, Comac isn't aiming to out-innovate its competitors, at least for now. With the help of the Chinese government, its boosters hope to make a dent in the worldwide airliner market, and with any luck, own its growth in China, India, and the rest of the Asia Pacific area.
Single-aisle aircraft already account for a staggering 11,580, or 61%, of the world's jet fleet, numbers that Boeing expects to rocket to 25,000 and 69% by 2029. For the C919's construction, Comac has called on contractors domestic and foreign, including Honeywell, GE and Eaton Corporation. In fact, American contractors building parts for Comac currently outnumber Chinese contractors, especially when it comes to more complicated parts like engines and hydraulics systems. In due time, Comac plans to shift more of its manufacturing load to domestic companies.
In other words, in both strategy and plane design, Comac is acting with pure pragmatism. It's aiming straight for a soft, expanding market with a plane that will share many parts--and in theory, most capabilities--with some of the most popular aircraft in the world, seeking differentiation by price, not technology. (Comac hasn't publicly discussed pricing for the C919, but its expected to be low. The company's first aircraft, a small regional jet, retailed for about $20m, while its closest Boeing counterpart, the 717-200, cost about $40m while it was still in production.)
The C919 won't be carrying passengers until 2016, but lumbering companies like Boeing and Airbus, whose orders are delivered in years, not months, may start to feel the heat from their new competitor, very, very soon.
Nov 15, 2010
Much racism & ignorance in the comments. "Taiwan" & "China" are both Chinese. China's Olympic games had these, plus Hongkong, Macau, & Singaapore. AS a 5th generation Australian, I am also Chinese. I'm surprized that no comments are made about German factory products: 1945-50. Are all whities racist & ignorant? Retired (medical) IT Consultant Australian Capital Territory
You can't fault the chinese for trying. Our newset and best technology (computers and cell phones) are manufactured entirely in China, along with our toasters, televisions, clothing, etc. The fastest growing commercial aircraft market (mid-range/regional jets) is dominated by Embrear, a Brazilian company in collaboration with AIRBUS. If you fly constantly, as I do, you will no doubt notice the disapearance of Boeing as well as AIRBUS aircraft from many domestic US routes, in favor of aircraft built in Brazil and Canada, unless you fly Continental where they still have a First Class section and serve hot meals in Coach. I don't see anybody complaining about either of those nations movement into US markets. Why should we complain? They all used to buy our aircraft, when we were the only game in town and had more than one manufacturer of commercial aircraft in the US. US Aerospace is a shadow of its former self, and this did not hapen overnight. It also did not happen due to competition from abroad. It happened for many different reasons. China's inevitable entry into this market has been a forgone conclusion for many years. They are the largest consumer of commercial aircraft today, and will account for most of the demand for several years. It makes perfect sense for them to produce planes domestically, as well as other goods. With a population in excess of 3 billion and 25% of them living in abject poverty, they will continue to look inward for solutions to problems like building roads, rail, utilities (they dominate production of electric utilites in Africa), they will continue to stand on their own. US Aerspace (new names and new faces) will continue to innovate and build new and better aircraft, while the Chinese Aerospace industry plays "me-too" and catch-up. Man up boys and girls. US Aerospace isn't going away anytime soon. BTW, I don't know where griz326 got the idea that there are more geniuses in China "As simply a percentage of the population, there are more geniuses in China than anywhere on the planet" than any other country, but it's simply not so. Even if griz means that the actual number of Chinese geniuses (based upon his calculation), I doubt his postulate. Besides, if these guys are so smart, why are they all still commies?
Boeing is pretty much only left in the business of designing and assembling kitsets these days - parts being complete assemblies, not nuts and bolts. A good chunk of those parts are already built in China/Japan/EU under contract. On top of that both Boeing and Airbus have plans for complete assembly lines in China - right now those are in addition to US lines but I can easily see Spirit (The Kansas line) being completely shut down in favour of offshoring. China produces a lot of cheap junk and a LOT more high quality product that costs more (but is still usually cheaper than western built stuff). You get what you pay for and must perform due diligence. US and EU workers must accept that costs must decrease or face losing their jobs entirely. The halcyon days of 100% employment, retirement at 65 and affluent workers are all in the past - they were all unsustainable long-term and have been financed since the late 1960s by debt/ increasing taxation in order to keep voters happy. Now those chickens are coming home to roost The RJ market is the best place to be for any manufacturer, else Bombardier/Embraer/etc would be producing larger aircraft. Larger jets give prestige but the market is relatively tiny and only companies with substantial government backing can afford the investment to design/build them. (Boeing and Airbus BOTH have this) Like it or not, the USA is about to join the also-rans in the global economy. It's not as if there is a dearth of ex-superpowers in this position...
Firstly for all those smugly saying that "Made in China" equates to junk, I am afraid you have lost track of the last few decades. Look inside everything that you hold to be quality manufacturing and you might be surprised. Look inside your Dell, your Sony, your Apple, or in fact any electronic device and you will find large parts of it (if not all) were made in China. Our ability to produce PC's and other complex electronics without Chinese Manufacturing capability is doubtful. For those who so fervently blame the evil capitalists. They indeed have much to answer for in moving our manufacturing capability overseas to take advantage of cheap labor, but perhaps if we were more honest we could see that it was all of us who drove it. When we went into the electronic store to buy our new large screen tv's, how many cared where they were made? Very few. We bought the most we could for the least price and if this meant american jobs were being lost while we bought goods made in countries where people made less in a month than many of us make in an hour, we did not care! The decline of America and rise of Asia was always inevitable like the decline of Britain and the rise of America. What we have to ask ourselves is what core basis of a viable country is left to us, or are we just going to be the fat consumers of what the rest of the world makes? If America is to retain and even regain some of what made it great we need to hold some degree of manufacturing self sufficiency as a national goal. We need to understand that free trade may have made the rich richer, but eventually washes all core ideas and technologies to where they can be copied. In 10-20 years America will no longer have the kind of exclusive dominance that it has had these last decades. That is not such a bad thing, but we need to decide what our role is in a world where we are but one of the superpowers, and probably not the biggest, richest or strongest.
I don't mind China reinvesting the money we pay them for their totally junk! products, that's just capitalism. In fact, China is turning out to be more of a capitalist nation than most countries who claim utter loyalty to that economic principle. All I ask is that China NOT be involved in either the engineering or the manufacturing of products slated for use by 'me' in the future, in particular airplanes, as I do not want to die.
Should be called peak money or applied greed but you must remember that oil is not supply and demand as much as control. Hippies walked over the homeless? What planet are you from the hippies are the original homeless. More like Conservative greed in action. I don't care about CO2 let the future generations die in utter agony thats a good thing, the enjoyment of human suffering pure and simple Conservative family values in action. The truth is the currency is debased and slated to be debased greatly (unlike before much more). Changes to the educational system have been wrong just a trick to fool the masses I will digress there as time and space for critism is limited. China think 10 times the best and brightest here. Yet we cut rather than help education in ways that is just wrong and unjust the GPA thing rejects acceptable students and makes a mockery of the system.
Aren?t we running out of oil what happened to Peak Oil theory? I have been told on numerous occasions at ?SmartPlanet? the glob is burring up due to CO2 emissions and we need electric or anything else but do not burn CO2. So why isn?t the world and ?smartplanet? writing articles on how the Chinese should conserve, not burn anymore CO2 and pay more to pollute less? Oh I get it brain wash us through propaganda Blog sights like ?smartplanet? that we must contend ourselves with less to save mother earth and thus self-implode, while the rest are made better off through expansion. After all if we in the west are as poor and destitute as the Chinese were and are then wala we will in fact be emitting less CO2 globally while the Chinese can emit more. See there is now balance in the world for all those hippie intellectuals in the west who walked over their own homeless to worry about the staving others.
@hmmmmm! My god man! Can it be true! I was beginning to think I was the only person left in this country that had not ether been blinded by my own selfish greed. Or had been distracted by all the pretty colored graphics on FOX news! And spent the majority of my time concentrating on the important issues of the day. Like who is going to win American Idol and how dancing with the starts is so brutal! LOL Your post clearly shows you have a firm grasp on the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in today in America! The greed of the few has afforded them a big party for the last 35 years! Unfortunately by hording all the profits of this country and not using any of it to invest in this countries future!. At the same time using their power and influence to deny other from investing in our infrastructure, Schools and people. I would say that they shot themselves in the foot. but that's not true . When it all collapses in the next 2 decades they will just move to Costa Rica! Rather they have shot their companies in the foot and their country in the back. Their neglect of public schools and intentional dumbing down of Americans has been a quite successful program! Achieving what we have today in this country. A citizenry that is not capable of grasping or understanding the coming economic collapse.A public with such short attention spans and ignorance and gullibility. They are lead around by the nose by the current propaganda espoused daily by our new editorial and monopolized news and media outlets! That no longer report the news as it is but instead twist the facts by leaving some of them out of a story while at the same time adding false facts to the same story to change its basis in-reality. Then it is topped of by a biased media performer with his slanted view on the subject! The creation of this new ignorant, short sighted, dumbed down populus with a very short attention span and memory were created by design. The actual effectiveness of this program can be shown just by the outcome of the last election. Where people some how forgot in just 2 years who had caused the economic crisis that we are now! Then turned around and voted for the exact same policies that were in effect for the previous governing factions 8 year term. That were responsible for this country's lower to mid range middle class citizenry basically being destroyed! you can look at it like this! A man shoots you. So you are suffering and are in great pain.The Ambulance zooms you to the hospital. Once their the Doctor examines you with out giving you a pain killer because he needs you awake and alert so he can dig around to find out what damage has been incurred so he can do emergency surgery to hopefully save your life. While at the same time the gun man is taking pot shots at the doctor trying to hamper everything he is doing! Which he does though the whole ordeal. Thus making the doctors surgery and such twice as painful as it had to be.. So 6 months later you walk into a restaurant. Their you see sitting at the table the guy who shot you. You also see the doctor who saved your life sitting at a table adjacent to him! So you walk up to the both of them pull out a gun and shoot the doctor! Why would he do that! well if we use the logic of the American voter this is why! The Gunman that shot you was a old drinking buddy that you always got into trouble with but really had never been that bad before. (so you thought , but in reality he had a long rap sheet) also the Doctor who was doing his best to save your life in a hostile situation.Though it was necessary to save your life had caused you great pain while he was digging around inside of you closing artery's trying to stop the bleedind and taking the bullet out of you. While heroically dodging the gunman's bullets. He stayed and saved your life. But during the next 6 months of visiting the doctor and having to have numerous surgery's to repair the damage caused by the gunmen. You were forced to endure great pain. At the same time the Gunmen had a hot sister named Foxy that you had always been sweet on. So Foxy worked on you for that whole six months telling you lies and defending her brother so you would not press charges so he would be sent to prison! So being that you are a simpleton that is easily lead around by your little head that does most of your thinking. You begin to blame the doctor for all the pain and suffering that you are forced to go through! Plus you get the bill from the doctor and it is causing you to go through Bankruptcy because the bill is so outrageous and unethical that nobody could afford it! But the reason that the doctors fees are so outrageous is because the gunmen was on the board of directors at the hospital and he personally removed the regulations and limits on what a doctor could morally charge you for their services. Thus making Doctors un -affordable for everyone! Without those limits the Doctor can now charge you what ever he pleases and currently he pleases A new 5 million dollar Yacht! So guess who gets stuck with the bill! Now you understand the mind set of the new dumbed down American! Its not bad enough that they are dumb, but the are arrogant about there stupidity! No wonder the rest of the world is just shaking their heads at us as they drastically try to cut all ties with us! before our nation collapses under its own weight. The U.S. at one time produced and manufactured 64% of everything that was made and sold on the planet. We were the walmart for the world. Now the only thing that the U.S. Manufactures and sales to the world is expensive military hardware! Like fighter jets, missile systems,Transport Aircraft and light vehicles! During the last administration the U.S. percentage of world production was 6%! All 6%was accrued by a government approved sale of military aircraft! A country that no longer produces anything is a country that is dependent on other generosity. so a country who once invented the technology to got to outer space. now must beg other countries for a ride to get their. So you see we went from manager to cashier to a moocher bum! Next stop homelessness and the gutter as the world comes to take revenge for the last70 years of us running rough shot over them and telling them what to do!Big brother no longer has to listen to what baby brother says anymore!
My garage/workshop is filled with Harbor freight tools, all made in china, and they work fine. stuff like digital micrometers, electronic VOM's, hydraulic presses, precision machine tools, pneumatic tools. If you think Chinese stuff is junk, you haven't been paying attention. If I had to buy American stuff, my shop would be bare; I couldn't afford one tenth of the equipment I own.
Everything that has a "made in china" label on it is known worldwide for being a cheap replica of something of better quality. Thanks...but no thanks.
Sorry about previous post spelling errors. I stepped away for a second. When I came back I hit the send button. I thought I had already proof read it, but as you can plainly see I had not. Sorry.
Given the Chinese inability to get the cobalt out of children's jewelry, the lead out of their toy paints, and the melamine out of their pet foods, I don't think I'll be flying on one of their jets anytime soon. Really, this is the epitome of the adage "Never buy version 1.0" Maybe when they've been around for a few years and have a good record, I'd consider it -- IF I don't have to get felt up by a TSA pervert to get on the flight.
anthonymaw what are you suggesting? That we we lower wages to slave labor levels!Considering the American worker has not gotten a raise since the Clinton Administration. I believe they are just a step above it now anyway! As far as Corporate Taxes! You have got to be kidding me. Corporate taxes today are so low they are equivalent to pre great depression era taxes. nAt the same time American Corprate growth has expanded rapidly and brought great economic prosperity two the executives of these companies and their stock holders! At the same time combine that with the fact that most American companies are socialist. because the American tax payer funds most of their R and D, company expansions ,and government kickbacks. Plus the fact that they have been deregulated so much that they no longer have to be concerned about about pollution and environment impact studies. So they no longer have to pay fines for their abuse of the environment nor do they have to invest in expensive technologies such as air pollution filters for their plants and so on. Ect. Ect Not only were these companies forgiven their all of their fines incurred through the last 3 decades that they had never paid and held up in court! But all of the environmental guidelines that they were suppose to achieve by the mid ninetys. Were not only no longer enforced by a gutted agency. But they were actually repealed1 destroying 40 years of hard work to protect the people and the environment of this country! Thus in affect saving all of these corporations billions of dollars! Through out all of this party they had been having the last decade. Not once did they even bother to pass any of this mass amount of profit and socialism down to the workers much less the American people. it all went to CEO's and stalk holders! So before you spout that old bogus tripe about the poor American over taxed Corporation or how the American worker is over payed. Maybe you should actually take a look at the facts and the real numbers. Where you will see that the American Corporation rather then invest in their companies future , their company employees much less the American peoples future! They pocketed it all! and had a huge deregulated party at the expense of our country! Then after the his their profits away and spent their pocket money they all cried bankruptcy and how American employee wages were breaking them so they could not compete. then to add insult to injury most of them came to the government asking for a hand out from the American tax payer to replace all of their bill money that they used to party it up. Rather then using it to pay bills! WoW don't the rest of you wish you could do that! LOL LOL LOL
John Westra you hit the nail on the head! Sure they are subcontracting out to GE an Honeywell. Because at the current time they do not have the ability to manufacture and design these parts! They pretty much admitted that as soon as they could steal it from us that they would be moving these contracts to domestic companies! I keep holding out hope that the American Government and our corporations would for once put the safety of this nation before short term profit! But alas since only 10% of the American population control 85% of all the stock in these companies and the rest is split up through foreign investment groups.There is no need for them to have any loyalty to the American people. Plus the fact that they truly are no longer American companies! They are multinational conglomerates. The only loyalty these companies have is to the next highest bidder regardless of where it comes from. Because the only people the board of executives are concerned with and have to consider are once again this group of stock holders. Who care nothing about politics and national security or a nations Sovereignty. The only thing they care about is the bottom line.That my friends is the greatest threat to the American people,our national security and the out right continued existence to western democracies!
As soon as Comac comes out with their first plane, there will be several dozen knock-offs sold by shadow factories at 1% the price. Of course, they will be made of cardboard and the vast majority will never reach their destination, but they *WILL* be cheaper! KIRF!
China superar? a USA cient?ficamente y en la econom?a mundial. China p?repara ingenieros a velocidad espacial, miles de ellos en las universidades americanas. Por ganar m?s dinero muchos capitalistas americanos trasladan sus negocios a China sin impprtarles la transferencia de tecnolog?a avanzazda. La prensa americana y brillantes periodistas como Deborah Gage y John Herman deber?an escribir sobre este aspecto que pone en peligro la seguridad del mundo occidental.
Hmmm...Americans had very bad stereotypes about Japanese products in the 50's and 60's - that Jap products were all categorically crude and inferior to "Made in U.S.A.". Well the hard working Japanese sure turned the manufacturing tables on Americans in the 80's and 90's. Unfortuantely the Japs lost WWII and part of the surrender deal involved them continually buying up US debt as a form of reparation which continues to this day. China is in no such position and is now showing the United States how skilled manufacturing is done right. To be sure, some low-end Chinese-made products are poor quality and unreliable but when it comes to skilled labour manufacturing jobs, the Chinese manufacutring industry cannot be equalled by any "Western" nation with their higher wages and corporate taxes.
Con la Tecnologia actual ustedes agregar un ?cono de traducci?n de articulos del ingl?s al espa?ol.. Billones de personas en el mundo ser?an beneficiadas y el progreso aumentar?a con la difusi?n del coocimiento. email@example.com
Author here. Indeed, Embraer and Bombardier are in the same market as Comac for the time being, and I probably should have mentioned the former if just because it's a pretty big player, but Comac's ambitions are tied more closely to China's economic success than Embraer's to Brazil's. Embraer is an old company with a longstanding interest in smaller planes--their largest jet right now has a passenger capacity of about 120. Comac has been relatively frank about plans to expand beyond commuter jets and larger single-aisle, limited range planes. In a few years we'll probably be reading about Comac's 787 competitor. Embraer's focus, at least recently, has continued to be on RJs and private jets. Anything's possible, though.
This article was a piece of fluff. Both the Canadian firm Bombardier and the Brazilian firm Embraer are making very serviceable narrow-body aircraft in the size range of the Chinese C919. Also, a firm in the former Soviet Union, United Aircraft, has a B-737 equivalent that has just lost a contract to Boeing. To write an article without surveying the other possibilities shows either ignorance of the field or indifference to anything not made in Europe, China, or the USA.
As simply a percentage of the population, there are more geniuses in China than anywhere on the planet. If dedication and determination could be quantified, that number would be even more dramatic! Under-estimating the Chinese makes US fools. Most Americans are familiar with Chinese junk products and presume that all Chinese products are junk; they've forgotten the lesson we should have learned from Japan.
cochraness, great comment, seems a lot of children on this site that might study a bit of economics, history and finance, and best really start preparing for real world 101. China is moving and moving fast, and that "Bag of bolts" is just the start, and unfortunately most in USA will sell them anything they need to take nearly our last remaining big business. Get rid of aerospace and then just watch the balance of trade numbers and that is nr one tool to inflate the trade mess. And noted that "China plans to build most HW in China, and guess how many USA jobs that will take out beside the once might B whom cannot seem to get the 787 fixes going.
Kind of looks like end of one of last major industries left in USA, but since to "cut costs'" B our sourced hardware, gave away processes and technology, might not be good idea to go long term on B stock. Wonder when or quite possibly if, USA will wake up to fact that we are falling behind each day, across the board. For those fools that think China cannot out engineer, USA, well for one thing, any company in USA along with technology, engineering etc, is for sale to highest bidder. China leads now in super computers, guess what they design? Our nation more worried about college football bowls then college hi tech competitive grads, and forget advanced degrees for USA students. Am old enough to remember USA in it's glory golden years, and now. Sadly USA is going to go down very hard, very fast and as we dumb down it will resemble the proverbial frog in pan, finally cooked as heat was slowly turned up. Such a shame as aerospace was loaded with some of most dedicated bright talent on planet, then the bean counters arrived, like it seems has been done across USA. Remember the day a bud rolled that 707 and the world was agape at how well USA built and did things, now days, we are told to take your useless money, wasted military spending, and dumbing down citizenry and go find new sand box to play in, as world is walking away from us, Congress-political world daily prove that anything is for sale in USA, and fools get elected, only nation in world where pols looking for votes, fools supporting them howl to cut workers wages, cut education and increase real wealth gap, not one other that dumbed down,. So China welcome to aerospace, now tell us of the huge space center you have we hear and see so little about.
it is good even when the Chinese participate. Alas, there seem to be people who are unable to recognise this obvious fact.... Henri
Wow! What a bunch of negative BS. China is full of brilliant engineers and mathematicians. They can build components for Airbus and Boeing, so this is the next logical step.
Boeing, Airbus, GE and other aerospace/avionics companies, that have chosen to do business with the Chinese, continue to find themselves under attack by Chinese Hackers, many of whom can be traced back to locations whose geo coordinates and/or IP signatures put them in close proximity or under the control of the Chinese military. It is no secret that the Chinese continue to steal billions of dollars worth of IP every year. A close inspection of the C919's design and systems would likely reveal much of the engineering originated in the West. Until the Unfortunately, the United States Government and military industrial complex, as well as Corporate America, care little about the long-term security and welfare of average Americans. For them, everything boils down to maintaining power and profitability.
Talk about a white-knuckled flight... I sure wouldn't fly on one after the failure of my electronics devices which were made in China. In any case, I doubt if the FAA will even license these bags of bolts to fly in the USA. But if they do, keep looking up.
Wasn't Airbus outsourcing some of their manufacturing there? Way to create your (unfair) competition guys.