C919 jumbo jet expected to be powered by homemade engine: expert

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/10 23:28:39

China's domestically developed jumbo jet C919 is expected to be equipped with homemade engines that feature light metal material, a Chinese expert said on Saturday.

Domestically made Changjiang-1000 engine (CJ-1000) that may be used to power the C919 is under development and will replace imported foreign engines in future on the jet, according to Cao Chunxiao, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a researcher with Aero Engine Corporation of China Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, said on Saturday. 

Nearly 23 percent of the CJ-1000 engine will probably be titanium alloy, which has higher density than iron and will help reduce the weight of the jet, Cao said during the 2017 China's Top 500 Enterprises Summit Forum on Saturday in Jiangxi, thepaper.cn reported.

The C919 made a successful maiden flight on May 5 this year. It was powered by LEAP-1C engine developed by CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture between France's Safran Aircraft Engines and GE of the US.

"It's quite competitive to have 23 percent titanium alloy on the CJ-1000. The mainstream civil engines in the world contain similar quantity of light materials," Wang Yanan, chief editor of the Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The homemade engine is expected to make breakthroughs in its main parts - turbine, fan and blades, Wang added.

"The first CJ-1000 engine is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and a series of intensive tests are planned when it is mounted on an airplane," Feng Jinzhang, general manager at AECC Commercial Aircraft Engines Co, said at a forum on August 26.

"The CJ-1000 is not just a homemade product. If the CJ -1000 engine is tested successfully and is able to power aircraft, it will mark the evolution of China's aerospace industry from manufacturing mature military products to delivering civil products," Wang said.

"China owns very competitive aircraft engine manufacturing technology but it is mainly used in military," he explained.

Feng said that the C919 with homemade CJ-1000A engine will finish its assembly within this year, and the wide-body passenger jet C929 with the engine CJ-2000 is undergoing testing.

The market of engines for commercial aircraft is promising, which Feng estimated in the next two decades to hit 80,000 worldwide, with the market value reaching $1 trillion.

The CJ-1000 is designed for C919, but is expected to power either Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 or a similar newly built aircraft in the world market by 2025, Wang said.

The engines, as one of high-end products in aviation industry, will then become a pioneer of China's overall manufacturing industry, he added.

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