China's Comac has completed the selection of major suppliers for the C919, clearing the way for finalising the 150- to 170-seat twinjet's joint definition stage, possibly this year.

GE Aviation Systems and its Chinese joint venture partner AVIC Systems will provide an open-architecture avionics package that includes core processing, a large-area display system, maintenance and flight recording systems, says Comac. The US company said in November that it to form a joint venture in China with AVIC Systems to bid for the C919 avionics contract.

The joint venture has secured the C919's main avionics deal, but competitor Rockwell Collins, which provides the avionics for Comac's ARJ21-700 regional jet, will supply some communication, navigation and surveillance equipment. Rockwell Collins has teamed with China Electronic Technology Corporation and AVIC's China Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute.

Comac C919
 © Tim Bicheno-Brown/Flightglobal

Honeywell will supply the fly-by-wire system and establish a local joint venture with the Flight Automatic Control Research Institute to develop C919 electronics.

Honeywell was also selected to provide C919 wheels and brakes, with joint venture partners Hunan Boyun New Materials and Changsha Xinhang Wheel & Brake.

Other deals include the selection of Eaton and its Chinese partner, Comac subsidiary Shanghai Aircraft (SAC), to provide C919 fuel and hydraulic conveyance systems.

Western companies have opted for local joint venture partners when bidding for C919 work. Comac disclosed in 2009 that it wanted Chinese companies to be involved in developing systems for the C919. This is a departure from past practices - such as with the ARJ21 programme - where China went for off-the-shelf solutions from Western companies.

Source: Flight International