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China unveils aircraft centre

— PHOTO: XINHUA

Taking wings: An ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century) plane being assembled in Shanghai on Sunday.

SHANGHAI: Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) has unveiled its manufacturing and assembling centre here, the latest step towards the goal to manufacture homegrown large aircraft.

The Final Assembly Centre of the COMAC was based on the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co., with a registered capital of two billion yuan ($292.7 million), said COMAC’s general manager Jin Zhuanglong.

It was one of the COMAC’s three key entities responsible for aircraft design, manufacturing and service.

Mr. Jin said the Center’s new base in Shanghai’s Pudong area would be constructed within this year.

By 2010, it would be able to produce 30 ARJ21-700 model planes a year, and the capacity will be expanded to 50 jets by 2012, he said.

The ARJ21, an acronym for “Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century,” is the first regional jet that China has fully developed independently, in accordance with the standards set by General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (GACAC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).

The Shanghai-headquartered COMAC has launched its design and research centre, based on the Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute, and a customer service centre.

The latter provides aircraft maintenance and repair, pilot training, aviation equipment and materials leasing and consultation for aviation technologies for both large planes and regional aircraft, according to an official. — Xinhua

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