(A C919 mockup is displayed at Airshow China 2016)
The C919 aircraft, China's first homegrown large passenger jet, boasts a global sourcing model that is similar to that of Boeing Co and Airbus Group SE. The model is believed to increase production efficiency and save costs, but aircraft manufacturers retain control of key technologies.
The C919 plane also has several significant technical breakthroughs. Intense research and development was conducted before production, and it uses a large amount of composite materials.
For instance, 85 percent of its tail section is made from composite materials, according to Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd, manufacturer of the C919. In China, the technology to apply composite materials is still in its infancy, and the application requires mould manufacturing, temperature control and other techniques.
Harbin Hafei Industry Co Ltd, an aviation manufacturer in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, is mainly responsible for the manufacturing of some parts that mainly use composite materials, including the hatch door for the front landing gear and the main landing gear, as well as the vertical tail of the C919.
With more than 100,000 components required for the plane, more than 240 local Chinese companies have served as suppliers and manufacturers for the C919. More than 460,000 people have been involved in its research and development, and 37 higher education institutions joined the C919 project, COMAC said.
Once the C919 plane starts mass production and delivery, it is expected to drive the rapid growth of the upstream and downstream industry chains and other high-end manufacturing sectors, such as metal materials, mechanical manufacturing, electronic information and chemistry.
Boeing Co earlier lifted its forecast for China. It said in the next two decades, the nation is likely to become the first country with an aviation market exceeding $1 trillion. During that period, Chinese airlines are estimated to purchase 6,810 airplanes valued at $1.025 trillion.