China’s first engineering center for airworthiness has been inaugurated in Shanghai.
The establishment of the center, which falls under jurisdiction of the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), is an important step forward in cathching up with the two other major players, Boeing and Airbus.
Zhao Yuerang, chief of the airworthiness administrative department of COMAC, said, ‘The most urgent task for the center at the moment is to help China-made ARJ21 planes (one seen in our illustration) acquire licenses of airworthiness in countries including the United States.’
ARJ21 planes would have to obtain an airworthiness license in China by 2010 before going into commercial operation.
It will employ 60 people – all trained, high-tech talents in aircraft design and development. It will expand to more than 100 people in the future.
China View states that the ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century) was developed independently by China. It will be the first Chinese aircraft to be sold to Europe and the United States.
So far, 208 orders for ARJ21-700 planes have been placed each costing about $27 million.