China plans to invest CNY10bn in engine development

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China plans to invest yuan (CNY) 10 billion ($1.6 billion) into the research and development of engines for passenger aircraft.

This will allow the country to catch up with international standards and reduce its dependence on foreign powerplants, according to Chinese news reports.

The programme will be undertaken by AVIC Aviation Engine Holding, a subsidiary of state-owned aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) that focuses on the development of powerplants for military aircraft.

Zhang Jian, a vice-president at AVIC Aviation Engine, is quoted by the reports as saying that China is open to working with foreign partners in this programme.

He adds that insufficient research and development into engines is holding China's aerospace industry back, and this programme will help to rectify that.

The Comac C919, the Chinese narrowbody that China is developing, will be powered by the CFM International Leap-1C engine, but there is strong speculation that AVIC Aviation Engine is developing an alternative engine for the aircraft.

The ARJ21 regional jet that is undergoing flight tests has GE Aviation CF34-10A engines, while the in-service MA60 has two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops.