Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former New York governor (in 2008, The New York Times reported that Spitzer was a client of a prostitution ring under investigation by the federal government), wrote for Slate that China’s new state-backed plane-making outfit, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, would make America’s aviation industry "suffer enormously over the coming decades."
Spitzer didn’t explain why — merely citing the sale of five Chinese ARJ-21 passenger planes to General Electric’s aircraft leasing arm was enough. GE says it is still ‘too early’ to consider where to place the planes, but admits it will probably lease some to domestic Chinese airlines.
At the moment, Airbus and Boeing are profiting from China, rather than losing business to it.
Airbus recently unveiled the first fully Chinese-made A320, consolidating China’s image as an attractive outsourcing base — despite all the murmurs on both sides of potential technology leaks.
Boeing’s latest jumbo design, the 787 ‘Dreamliner’, also has its rudder made in China.
Both manufacturers love China as a growing market for their own products, and Airbus’ recent push is seen as an attempt to boost sales against the more dominant Boeing.
China is in the initial stages of developing a 150-passenger jumbo jet, which it hopes to commercialize by 2020.
In the near term, a state company will be making first deliveries next year of the ARJ-21 (seen above), a 75 to 100-seat regional jet — more of a competitive concern for Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer, which dominate the regional jet market.
Forbes said the plane is unlikely to set the world on fire.
The main problem for China, according to Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Teal Group, is that it is effectively trying to go it alone.
With the ARJ-21, rather than pursue a wide range of joint ventures and international partnerships to build experience and technological prowess, Aboulafia says China has come up with an inward-looking, government-mandated design that offers nothing new and is actually heavier on a per-seat basis than its competitors.