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CLARA MOSCHINI

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China: almost impossible to compete with Boeing and Airbus in airliner planes

Delays in development and technological dependence on foreign countries among the problems

The Chinese ambitions to build their own commercial aircraft began almost 40 years ago with the first economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping, but technological problems have delayed the arrival in aircraft markets of planes comparable to those previously produced in the United States and then also in Europe. The gap with Airbus and Boeing (the only US company left in the scheduled passenger jet market) is practically impossible to smooth, even if the Chinese policy based on the transfer of technology from abroad has borne fruit, allowing the Chinese economy to expand and have more capital to invest in research. The problem is that in this way the Beijing industry has become dependent on foreign technologies and to put an end to this, Xi Jinping has launched the "Made in China 2025" plan, thanks to which products conceived, designed and built in China.

Among the industries that will be invested by this plan there is also that of civil aviation, which sees the State company Comac already with an excellent starting point or the twin-engine aircraft C-919 that made its first flight to May 2018. Half of the components present on the aircraft are of foreign production, the same pattern followed in the development and construction of the CR-929 -which will also be part the Italian company Leonardo. Besides the dependence on industries outside China, the other problem is the accumulated delay compared to what should be the main rivals since despite the lower price it will be difficult to convince the airlines to buy a Chinese airplane compared to a European or US. To this is added the fact that before seeing the operational C-919 will have to spend several years, in which the foreign regulators will have to give their certification to fly. A similar problem that also grips the Japanese Mitsubishi with its regional aircraft, which due to the continuous delays is likely to be relegated to a minor role on the international scene.

M/A - 1215668

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