Russian official announced today that despite the problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian Federation and China continue work on their joint project for the creation of a new wide-body long-range passenger aircraft that will have 280 seats and a flight range of nearly 7,500 miles in its base version.
The official highlighted aircraft engineering when listing topics discussed during summit talks in Beijing between Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The aircraft industry is the powerhouse of industrial cooperation. This comprises helicopters and the wide-body long-range passenger jet CR-929” he said.
“Progress is slower than we would like” in the airliner development project, the official continues.
“The market fell victim to COVID in the case with long-range airplanes; the demand for such aircraft dropped but work continues nevertheless,” he added.
Russia and China have been involved in the wide-body long-range aircraft projects for several years. The airplane will have 280 seats and a flight range of 12,000 km (7,456,5 mi) in the base variant. The total budget for the program was estimated at about $13 billion.
The CRAIC CR929, formerly known as Comac C929, is a planned long-range 250-to-320-seat wide-body twinjet airliner family to be developed by CRAIC, a joint-venture between Chinese Comac and Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), to challenge the Airbus and Boeing duopoly. Construction of the first prototype began by September 2021.
The China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation Limited (CRAIC) 50-50 joint venture was launched on May 22, 2017, in Shanghai, targeting a 2025-2028 maiden flight and first delivery. It aims to take 10% of a market dominated by Boeing and Airbus of 9,100 widebodies over 20 years through 2035, with a plane 10-15% cheaper to run.
Based in Shanghai where the assembly line will be located, CRAIC will oversee the program: technology development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, customer services, and program management. The fuselage will be composite material, total investment will be $13–20 billion.