China opportunities excite global aviation industry

Dec. 13, 2018 11:12:00

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China's Bayi Aerobatic Team perform at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, on Nov. 6, 2018. The air show opend on Tuesday. Photo by Liang Xu

By Hu Tao

China's aim to become a major aviation player is injecting impetus and opportunities into the global aviation industry.

The country is sending clear signals of seeking win-win cooperation with the world as well as mastering key technologies.

LEAPFROG PROGRESS

"Multiple critical technological breakthroughs bring China's capacities in aviation equipment to a new high," said Yang Wei, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and vice president of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

China showed its aviation advances at the 2018 China Airshow, in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, in November.

The biennial event is a gathering of all major global aviation players, such as Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and Safran etc..

China's independently-developed J-10B thrust-vectoring control (TVC) demonstrator, the J-20 stealth fighter, the Y-20 military transporter and the Wing Loong UAS (unmanned aircraft system) series were on display.

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China's AVIC independently-developed J-10B thrust-vectoring control demonstrator makes its debut performance at 2018 China Airshow. Photo by Liang Xu

A J-10B fighter jet performs an aerobatics display during the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, on Nov. 6, 2018. A J-10B thrust-vectoring demonstrator made its debut at Airshow China, which opened Tuesday in Zhuhai. (Xinhua/Liang Xu) (sxk)

"These showed the achievements of dedicated professionals in the aircraft and engine development fields, as well as excellent test flight teams," said Yang, who is also the J-20 chief designer and head of J-10B TVC project.

Aviation insiders from around the world witnessed post-stall maneuvers, such as a "J-turn," "falling leaf" and "Pugachev's cobra," performed by a J-10B TVC demonstrator.

State-owned aviation giant AVIC exhibited 134 products, including 37 on show for the first time.

Moreover, China's independently-developed Modern Ark 700 turboprop regional aircraft, AC helicopter series, Z-10 armed helicopter also appeared at the airshow.

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China displays three members of the Wing Loong UAS family at 2018 China Airshow. Photo courtesy of AVIC

The Wing Loong UAS family, China's star products in the global military market, comprised the Wing Loong I, Wing Loong II and Wing Loong I-D.

It was the first public display of the Wing Loong I-D, which has a fuselage made completely of composite material.

"Wing Loong UAS was developed by Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (CADI) of AVIC," said chief designer Li Yidong. "We designed the UAS with long-term experience in the development of high-end manned aircraft and understand the needs of international customers through in-depth cooperation."

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John Bruns, president of Boeing China. Photo courtesy of Boeing China

UNIQUE MARKET

In the eyes of global aviation industry leaders, China's continuous opening up make it "the world's most exciting market and important player."

"China's civil aviation industry is quite unique," said John Bruns, president of Boeing China. "Boeing is greatly honored in witnessing and supporting its growth, and we have built a creative strategic partnership of win-win cooperation."

It took Boeing 40 years to deliver its 1,000th aircraft to China in 2013. And just five years later, the company delivered the 2000th to the Chinese market, he said.

Boeing's 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, will deliver its first 737 aircraft in December -- Boeing's first-ever delivery of an aircraft at an overseas site.

"The Boeing Zhoushan project was the best example of the win-win cooperation, by working with Chinese partners and cultivating an aviation industrial system and enhancing the capacity of suppliers," he said.

China has seen double-digit growth in its civil aviation market. In 2017, its civil aviation industry recorded 552 million passenger trips, up 13 percent year on year.

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Xu Jun at the site of the maiden flight of China's C919 large passenger aircraft. Photo courtesy of Honeywell Aerospace

"The enhanced power in both the aviation manufacturing and civil aviation sectors has created great opportunities for the global aviation industry," said Xu Jun, vice president of Asia-Pacific OEMs of Honeywell Aerospace.

Honeywell provides four major systems and has two joint ventures with Chinese partners to support the takeoff of China's C919 large passenger aircraft, which made its successful maiden flight in May 2017.

"Honeywell is committed to deepening our cooperation with Chinese partners. We hope to play a role in the Sino-Russian joint CR929 wide-body passenger aircraft project," Xu said.

"Cooperation makes us stronger. While China enters a new era, the global aviation industry, particularly leading enterprises, should work with China to explore a flexible, creative and win-win mode of cooperation," said Xu. 

MUTUAL BENEFIT

The Asia-Pacific market is also set to maintain growth, with China as the major impetus.

China is forecast to become the world's largest aviation market by the mid-2020s, according to the International Air Transport Association. 

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George Xu, Airbus China CEO.

"Further opening-up encourages Airbus to proceed with confidence in deepening cooperation with the Chinese aviation industry," said George Xu, CEO of Airbus China. "Only win-win cooperation can lead to a promising future."

China has become the largest single market region of Airbus, accounting for about a quarter of its total global commercial aircraft deliveries.

In 2017, the value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and its Chinese partners reached more than 640 million U.S. dollars, and the figure is expected to reach 1 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Besides the cooperation in the market and industrial sector, Airbus is eyeing high of the innovative power from China. It has established the second global innovation center in Shenzhen, targeting to generate and cultivate the innovative power of China and worldwide.

"Airbus views China as a long-term and valuable strategic partner. We value high of the market as well as its great potential," George Xu said. (BEIJING 2018-12-12 17:05:46)

Editor: Miao Hong

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