Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang said, "To develop the large-scale airliner is a strategic decision of the Chinese government and one of the major programs for building up an innovation-oriented country."
Work on a prototype began only last month. A maiden flight isn’t scheduled until 2014, and the jet won’t be available commercially until 2016. And, when it is, initially it will be aimed primarily at China’s domestic market. Yet China is already banging the drum saying the twin-engine, narrow-body design of the C919 is superior to the planes it would compete against: the Boeing 737, the best-selling jetliner in the world, and its competitor, the Airbus A320.
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