China’s newly established Avic Aircraft intends to become the world’s third force in making large airplanes.
The new company will restructure much of the Chinese aircraft industry.
Old regional entities such as Xi’an and Shaanxi Aircraft are to be swept away, replaced with a framework of units each specializing in its own part of the airframe, such as the wing or nose section.
The challenges for Avic Aircraft are vast and its ambitions for a leading global position are going to be damn near impossible to attain. But the planning, at least, suggests that managers are aiming to create a company quite unlike the gaggle of semi-independent Chinese aviation businesses that have so far given major Western airframe makers little competition.
In terms of products, Avic Aircraft is proposing to build a large military transport and is open to developing a big turboprop airliner that would compete with Comac, outflanking rules intended to prevent the two companies’ products from overlapping.
Details of Avic Aircraft’s plans emerged in an interview of company President Hu Xiaofeng with International Aviation, the Chinese partner magazine of Aviation Week & Space Technology.