SINGAPORE -- Roaming the display floor while it's still being set up one of my perennial air show rituals. Walking amongst the organized chaos as the show is set up often yields interesting observations on the products on display for the week. At China's Comac stand, the ARJ21 and C919 are prominently displayed in company colors. The ARJ21 even includes a cutaway fuselage to reveal the interior arrangement of the five-abreast economy seating and four-abreast first class.
As you look to the back of the aircraft, you'll notice the gray outline of the rear exit. Curiously, it sits directly next to the inlet of the aircraft's General Electric CF34 engines. I'm no expert on aircraft safety, but common sense tells me that in the event of an emergency evacuation, waiting until the engines have sufficiently spooled down might not be the most realistic option. Comac said just last week that it wants to see FAA approval for the ARJ21. I would have to believe that emergency evacuation is going to be close to the top of the list of items the FAA wants to discuss with Comac.