China has conceded that the initial powerplants for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China's (Comac) 919 are likely to be Western engines, although the country's main aerospace conglomerate is still hoping to provide Chinese-made units as well.

AVIC Commercial Engines (ACE) says its engine for the 919 will be unveiled in 2016. But Comac has set 2016 as the 919's year for service entry. ACE was established earlier this year and is headquartered in Shanghai, the home of Comac.

If ACE unveils its engine in 2016 it will need to be certificated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, a process that will take months and possibly more than a year.

It is also possible that the Chinese-produced engine will be developed with the help of a Western engine manufacturer.

The Chinese engine company says ACE is in negotiations with Western engine companies to help develop the Chinese powerplant.

It adds that the foreign company may receive a 30% equity stake in ACE. AVIC owns 40% of ACE, the Shanghai municipal government 15%, while electricity conglomerate Shanghai Electric holds 15%. This leaves a 30% stake yet to be allocated.

Source: Flight International