Comac starts installations on C919 iron bird

Singapore
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Eaton Corp and Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Corp's (SAMC) joint venture has delivered the first batch of conveyance tubes to Comac for its C919 narrowbody programme.

This delivery, made on 29 July, makes the Eaton-SAMC joint venture the first supplier to deliver parts for the C919, says Comac.

"Some of these parts have been installed on to the iron bird, while some are still waiting for other parts to be installed together," says an Eaton spokeswoman.

Eaton and SAMC set up a joint venture in mid-2011 that focuses on the design, development, manufacturing and support of fuel and hydraulic conveyance systems.

When contacted, Comac confirmed that the installation of parts on to the C919 iron bird ground rig has started, although it could not provide further details. A spokesman adds that the programme is still in its detailed design phase.

When Flightglobal Pro visited Comac's facility in Shanghai in May, the first iron bird ground rig had already been set up although no equipment had been installed. To speed up the development and test process, the airframer is planning to use two iron birds to mount equipment for static tests.

The C919 is scheduled to have its first flight in 2014, with deliveries to begin in 2016. Comac has so far received commitments for 380 of the aircraft, mostly from Chinese airlines and leasing companies.