China's bid to challenge Boeing and Airbus falters

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Very interesting article from Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-aviation-comac-insight-idUSKBN1Z905N BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) - Development of China's C919 single-aisle plane, already at least five years behind schedule, is going slower than expected, a dozen people familiar with the program told Reuters, as the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation (COMAC) struggles with a range of technical issues that have severely restricted test flights. Delays are common in complex aerospace programs, but the especially slow progress is a potential embarrassment for China, which has invested heavily in its first serious attempt to break the hold of Boeing and Airbus on the global jet market. The most recent problem came down to a mathematical error, according to four people with knowledge of the matter. COMAC engineers miscalculated the forces that would be placed on the plane's twin engines in flight - known in the industry as loads - and sent inaccurate data to the engine manufacturer, CFM International, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters. As a result, the engine and its housing may both have to be reinforced, the people said, most likely at COMAC's expense - though another source denied any modification. That and other technical and structural glitches meant that by early December, after more than two and a half years of flight testing, COMAC had completed less than a fifth of the 4,200 hours in the air that it needs for final approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), two people close to the project told Reuters. COMAC, which has been developing the C919 largely in secret since 2008, rarely discloses its targets. Company official Yang Yang told Chinese state media in September that he expected certification by the country's regulators in two to three years, without giving any further details. The company's previous publicly stated target was end-2020. Other COMAC officials have said they are aiming for certification and delivery in 2021. COMAC did not respond to Reuters requests for comment for this story. CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and France's Safran, declined comment. COMAC has still not finalised the correct calculations and data to send to the engine manufacturer, which are key to ensuring that the engine does not fail under heavy loads, one of the sources told Reuters. Another said load calculations often evolve during development. But given the uncertainty, there is no guarantee COMAC will meet Yang's 2021-2022 target, people close to the program told Reuters. The engine miscalculation does not reflect a lack of theoretical understanding - China has been putting people in space for almost two decades. But it does illustrate the national aerospace manufacturer's lack of experience in designing and building commercial aircraft. Problems have not been confined to the drawing board. COMAC found cracks in the horizontal stabilizers of some of the first few aircraft built, two sources said, although that problem has now been fixed. It also found a gearbox attached to the engine was vulnerable to cracking, which caused an engine to shut down during a test flight, three sources told Reuters, a problem that potentially affects all six C919 jets now in test flights. Regular inspections of the gearbox to check for cracks and leaking oil have curtailed COMAC's flight test program, they said. The gearbox problem, discovered in 2018 and not previously reported, was due to unexpected vibrations, two sources told Reuters. Engineers on the program have found ways to minimize the risks, the sources said.... There's more, click on link.

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That plane looks like a carbon copy of an Airbus. Not surprised since China copies designs all the time, just not as easy to do with an airliner.
 
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Airbus taking control of Bombardier's excellent C series airliner also makes it more difficult for the Chinese along with the pending Boeing / Embraer deal. I remember not long ago China thinking about buying the remaining regional airliner business from Bombardier to help them with final engineering and guidance through the approval process.  It seems that did not happen.. However China will eventually get it right and their domestic market purchases of their own planes as well as other countries airliners they may pick up will be a hit for both Boeing and Airbus...
 
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Looks like stolen engineering to me. When is Elon Musk going to get the Battery version in the air and start building recharging stations at 30,000 feet?
 
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another stolen engineering/technologies from the west. Fact is, it has become habituating that they will not stop (from stealing) even if they agreed to sign the phase 1 of China business deal (which suposedly contains a bit of intellectual property rights and proections, etc.) Just like Huawei: they stole a lot of networking technologies from the west (most noticeably from Canada and US) to fortify their designs, and then churn out enterprise grade products trying to capture telco biz so as to facilitate their govt's political motives (spying, infiltration, etc.) They already have quite a few large-scale datacentre built, AI technologies, facial recognition technology, etc. on standyby currently awaiting for these "infiltration" into the west takes place, so that they can divert the internet information traffic into their country for analysis, so as to further their govt-led infiltration scheme. Good luck dealing with the crook of the century, buy their products if you want. Q.
 
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4WD

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I have been saying for over 10 years … if you require cheap labor to make something … give me Mexico any day
 
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Originally Posted by Quest
another stolen engineering/technologies from the west. Fact is, it has become habituating that they will not stop (from stealing) even if they agreed to sign the phase 1 of China business deal (which suposedly contains a bit of intellectual property rights and proections, etc.) Just like Huawei: they stole a lot of networking technologies from the west (most noticeably from Canada and US) to fortify their designs, and then churn out enterprise grade products trying to capture telco biz so as to facilitate their govt's political motives (spying, infiltration, etc.) They already have quite a few large-scale datacentre built, AI technologies, facial recognition technology, etc. on standyby currently awaiting for these "infiltration" into the west takes place, so that they can divert the internet information traffic into their country for analysis, so as to further their govt-led infiltration scheme. Good luck dealing with the crook of the century, buy their products if you want. Q.
Not AI (not sure about the others), Baidu is actually ranked very high in terms of what they can do on their own without ripping others off (probably second only go Google / IBM). Their R&D center in Sunnyvale and the bar for hiring is actually very high. I've heard they hire mostly from Cornell and they started with partnership with Andrew Ng instead of a US company. AI from many US companies other than Google / IBM are really just cookie cutter applications, not really ground breaking.
 
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Tying to catch up with others by constantly engaging in copying and theft is going to eventually hit the wall. I think they are still importing jet engines from Russia for their copy of F22 (whatever their designation is).
 
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They have an A320 final assembly line in China to steal ideas from and they still can't make it fly right? Geez I hope I never have to fly on a C919. Give me a 737 Max any day over this plane.
 
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Originally Posted by Brons2
They have an A320 final assembly line in China to steal ideas from and they still can't make it fly right? Geez I hope I never have to fly on a C919. Give me a 737 Max any day over this plane.
That is why they cannot make it right. Innovation requires genuine ideas and solutions. Also, do not forget, freedom of ideas and thought is not something that is common in China. Good example is Soviet space program.
 
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Originally Posted by 4WD
I have been saying for over 10 years … if you require cheap labor to make something … give me Mexico any day
Same here, I'd buy Made in Mexico first waaaay before China. Sad to say my iPhone is made in china and wish Apple and Samsung make their phones in South Korea or Mexico.
 
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Originally Posted by anndel
Originally Posted by 4WD
I have been saying for over 10 years … if you require cheap labor to make something … give me Mexico any day
Same here, I'd buy Made in Mexico first waaaay before China. Sad to say my iPhone is made in china and wish Apple and Samsung make their phones in South Korea or Mexico.
Cheap labor? lol
 
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Isn't china where all the fake aircraft bolts came from years ago? If they can't make the simple things correct, or make pet food that won't kill pets then how can they ever make a safe jet liner?
 
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Originally Posted by tenderloin
However China will eventually get it right and their domestic market purchases of their own planes as well as other countries airliners they may pick up will be a hit for both Boeing and Airbus...
China will eventually get it right and sales to Chinese carriers as well as to those in the developing world on liberal credit terms will take a bite out of A & B single aisle deliveries.
 

4WD

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That's similar to what they have done with ships. They do lots of cookie cutter builds … while Korea does some of the largest and most complicated
 
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Jet engines take longer to develop than airframes. If the engine problem is due to unexpected loads being place on it by the airframe, it's going to take a lot longer than a year to fix. More like three.
 
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Originally Posted by anndel
Originally Posted by 4WD
I have been saying for over 10 years … if you require cheap labor to make something … give me Mexico any day
Same here, I'd buy Made in Mexico first waaaay before China. Sad to say my iPhone is made in china and wish Apple and Samsung make their phones in South Korea or Mexico.
iPhones are made in China because Apple's Taiwanese contract manufacturers prefer to manufacture there. They used to manufacture in Taiwan until they got priced out. China frankly isn't the cheapest any more, but Foxconn and Pegatron find China to be easier to navigate since they have a lot of workers and they speak the same language. I really don't think Apple really cares. If Foxconn and Pegatron set up iPhone manufacturing in Mexico and could get the same price/quality Apple wouldn't care. Now Foxconn did talk big about Brazil but they got out. They were talking big in Wisconsin but that's probably not going to materialize either. However, it does look like they're going to actually start producing in India. The power adapter for my wife's Mac was assembled in India, although the manufacturer is Flextronics (says it right on the label).
 
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Originally Posted by A_Harman
Jet engines take longer to develop than airframes. If the engine problem is due to unexpected loads being place on it by the airframe, it's going to take a lot longer than a year to fix. More like three.
Like I pointed before, their miliatry ejts are still reliant on Russian manufacturing. Their F22 copy is completely reliant on Russian engines. When pillar of economic development is copy/paste, doing something on your own is really, really painful.
 
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Originally Posted by edyvw
Originally Posted by A_Harman
Jet engines take longer to develop than airframes. If the engine problem is due to unexpected loads being place on it by the airframe, it's going to take a lot longer than a year to fix. More like three.
Like I pointed before, their miliatry ejts are still reliant on Russian manufacturing. Their F22 copy is completely reliant on Russian engines. When pillar of economic development is copy/paste, doing something on your own is really, really painful.
Depends on what. The Chinese are having a huge push in AI and any kind of complacency is misplaced. The main issue with those engines meant to super cruise is that the "secret sauce" is reliably making single crystal turbine blades. That's more art than engineering, and even the Russians haven't mastered it yet. PW and GE mastered that 2 decades ago and Rolls starting to make them now, but the Russians haven't quite figured it out yet, and the Chinese are so far behind that they're just buying Russian engines. It seems like the Chinese are trying to figure out the technique and can't seem to master it. It's about making them fast enough. They can keep on trying and rejecting most of their output, as well as putting up with early failures.
 
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We have had a 115 year ''culture of aviation" in the USA, 4+ generations of aviators. We've all heard the stories of folks like Pappy Boyington who started flying well before the war just because they wanted to. AND people were there to support that need. By designing and building capable aircraft, each design better than the last. And we've heard stories of industrialists like Howard Hughes, who pushed designs to the limit, furthering the knowledge base. 40 years ago when I was learning aviation, there was much talk about why things were done a certain way. WW-II vets taught the engineering, flight and maintenance classes. All of which I took, some of which I absorbed. But one thing was quite clear, things were a "certain way" for a specific reason. Right down to the alloys chosen and how those alloys were heat treated. (Hint: computer controlled heat treating of 2024 aluminum often results in intergrannular corrosion) As the tribal knowledge aspect of the job is missing. I brought that up because in just about every aspect of aviation manufacturing, there is "one guy" who knows what to do to make the part correctly. When that guy retires, changes jobs or fails to properly train his replacement, disaster often results. The Chinese don't quite have that culture yet and they don't have that "one guy" who through generations of knowledge, looks at the part and knows it's wrong or right. Yet, in our aviation culture, one dedicated, knowledgeable and capable man might build this: [Linked Image from lancair.com]
 
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