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The COMAC ARJ-21, China’s first passenger jet, entered service today with Chengdu Airlines.  The 78-90 passenger aircraft, originally scheduled to enter service in 2006, has finally entered revenue service.  The Advanced Regional Jet was designed nearly 15 years ago, and is a generation behind western regional aircraft.  But it did serve a purpose for COMAC, as it was the training ground for a cadre of aerospace engineers that will build the C919 narrow-body trunk liner and participate in a COMAC-Russian joint venture to develop a new wide-body aircraft.

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The entry into service for the ARJ-21 has taken much longer than originally anticipated, after encountering multiple issues with respect to certification and several modifications to the aircraft.  We do not expect the aircraft to sell in western markets, as it is not competitive economically with current and forthcoming models from Sukhoi, Bombardier, Embraer and Mitubishi.

The ARJ-21… Continue reading

An old Chinese saying goes “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still”.   Perhaps these words help Chinese aerospace managers deal with more delay news.

The next generation engines are rapidly approaching competitive flight operations – what’s the engine score?  The Pratt & Whitney GTF is already flying for Lufthansa and IndiGo on their A320neos.   The CFM LEAP is rapidly building hours on the Airbus neo fleet and will soon also be operating in customer fleets – the first two operational engines were delivered to Airbus two days ahead of schedule.  The Boeing MAX flight test program is rumored to be running ahead of schedule and should be in service no later than early next year.

These two engine programs may be the largest seen to date in the industry.  Production ramp up is going to be tough for both engine OEMs.  Take a look at the current score. Continue reading

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