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C919 project at "crucial point" in detailed design - Comac

The joint definition phase of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) C919 narrowbody has been completed.

Together with the completion of the preliminary design, the manufacturer has now entered a "crucial point" in the detailed design phase, said Comac leaders at a C919 project meeting on 24 November.

They did not elaborate on the aircraft development progress, but said they plan to wrap up the detailed design phase in 2012 to ensure that the aircraft can conduct its first flight in 2014.

The leaders added that development work for the C919 went very smoothly this year.

Comac had previously said that it aims to have first metal cut for the C919 in December 2011.

Comac has in the last month received three major commitments for its aircraft, which is being developed in China as a possible competitor to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft.

The latest came from China's Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co for an order of 30 of the aircraft on Tuesday. Sichuan Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 Comac C919s in October and Chinese leasing company ICBC Leasing had earlier inked an order for 45 of the same aircraft.

This takes the total order backlog to 195.

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