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Russia, China plane makers plan rivals for Airbus and Boeing

May 20, 2014, 14:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It will be the first in a family of airliners to be built on a modular design basis
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An Airbus aircraft (archive)

An Airbus aircraft (archive)

© EPA/DAN ANDERSON

MOSCOW, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Plane makers in Russia and China have confirmed plans to build a 400-seat, wide-body, long-range passenger aircraft. It will be the first in a family of airliners to be built on a modular design basis.

Industry leaders signed a memorandum in the Chinese city of Shanghai on Tuesday, according to an announcement by the Russian side. The deal will pit the new airliner against Europe's Airbus and Boeing of the US as rivals in the sky.

Russian United Aircraft Corporation president Mikhail Pogosyan and Jin Zhuanglong, chairman of China's Commercial Aircraft Corporation COMAC, launched the initiative, which promises a feasibility study for delivery to respective governments in the summer.

Agreement is the result of two years' joint work by Russian and Chinese experts, said Russia's Pogosyan. "Joint efforts which COMAC and the United Aircraft Corporation are taking to produce jointly a family of wide-body airliners is bringing co-operation between the two countries in aircraft building to an essentially new level.”

The programme is expected to become one of the largest-scale projects of international co-operation in airliner construction and high technology. “The airliner can account for substantial shares on the markets of Russia, China and third countries,” the Russian corporation's press service said.

Plans are already advanced, the partners say, discussing the joint venture's structure and design options for the new transport.

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