The title is not misleading and I am not being a Russian nationalist when putting Russia in this project in the first place. Today, Russia and China finalized the agreement for production of Russo-Chinese wide body commercial jet known as COMAC C929 which basically underscores some issues with Chinese aerospace. Yes, China recently conducted a maiden flight of her indigenous COMAC C919. It is an undeniably huge achievement for Chinese commercial aviation but, COMAC C919 is not an "answer" to Boeing, Airbus, nor it is an answer to MC-21, whose maiden flight is planned for early June this year. To start with, COMAC C919 has two major problems:
1. A very heavy wing;
2. Absence of indigenous engine.
This makes C919 only good for China's internal market. C929, however, is a totally different game. It gets into the B787 and A330 NEO markets directly both in China and, eventually, internationally. It will be doing this with traditionally superb Russian air-frame and PD-35 jet-engine, a larger, more powerful version of PD-14. So, the stage is set for a big play in the most "hot" commercial market. Of course, others didn't sit idly:
The aircraft to be developed is expected to find the greater share of customers on the Chinese market. Later this year, General Electric and Rolls-Royce are expected to contest the right to provide the aircraft’s powerplant. The overall market is projected at between 800 and 1,000 aircraft, with deliveries starting in 2027.
Boy, talk about big money. C929, judging by a model, is a beautiful jet and it was Andrei Tupolev's dictum that: "Only beautiful planes fly beautifully".
In related news, MC-21 did its rolling out and taxi runs and awaits the first flight.