Comac has started the concept definition phase with suppliers on the fuselage and tail of the Chinese-Russian CR929 widebody.
The focus will be on the design requirements and optimising technical solutions, says China-Russia Commercial Aircraft Corporation (CRAIC) general manager Guo Bozhi.
In a statement, the Chinese manufacturer says 29 potential local and foreign suppliers attended a kick-off meeting held in Shanghai on 27 April.
It adds that teams from both countries are stepping up efforts to formulate the overall technical plan for the widebody, which will make large use of composites in its structure.
In March, United Aircraft Corporation announced that CRAIC will begin working with suppliers on defining the requirements for the major aircraft systems, including the landing gear, environmental control systems and avionics.
GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce are expected to submit bids by May for the 75,000lb-thrust turbofans planned for the twin-engined widebody.
The aircraft’s wings, centre section and fairings will be manufactured in Russia, while work on its fuselage and final assembly will be carried out in Shanghai.
CRAIC is developing a 280-seater aircraft with a range of 12,000km. If introduced in the 2025-2028 timeframe as scheduled, the aircraft would become the first twin-engined widebody aircraft produced by either country.