China’s biggest air show to highlight homegrown technology

Visitors look at air forces exhibited at a booth of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition or Zhuhai Airshow in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, Nov. 7, 2018. REUTERS / Brenda Goh

  • Pandemic forced show is postponed for almost a year
  • From September 28th to October 3rd in the southern city of Zhuhai
  • Military, civilian products are exhibited
  • C919 Narrowbody not among listed air shows

BEIJING / SYDNEY, Aug. 31 (Reuters) – China’s largest air show will showcase its own civil and military aviation technology next month, the host city mayor of Zhuhai said Tuesday, although the closely watched C919 narrowbody jet is not among the listed aerial photography exhibits.

The biennial China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, which was scheduled to take place in the southern city of Zhuhai from September 28 to October 3, has been postponed from its original date in November last year due to the pandemic.

Since few foreign attendees are expected in person due to strict quarantine rules, the show will have a virtual component and local military and aerospace companies have increased their presence significantly, Zhuhai Mayor Huang Zhihao told reporters.

On the military side, China’s Air Force will hold flight demonstrations and the locally made Wing Loong II drone will make its show debut.

On the civilian side, foreign companies like Boeing Co (PROHIBITION), Airbus SE (AIR.PA), Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (RR.L), CFM International, Honeywell International Inc (HON.O) and Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA) will participate through their domestic subsidiaries.

Boeing, which has tried to get Chinese approval to take its 737 MAX to the skies after a two-year lockdown, will have a booth 65% larger than last time, Huang said. Continue reading

At a time of growing trade tensions, China has worked with the West to manufacture more competitive aerospace products. The United States and Europe signed a truce in a 17-year aircraft trade war in June so they can focus on the challenge of Chinese subsidies. Continue reading

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China’s (COMAC) C919 is slated to compete against the 737 MAX and A320 families, with COMAC aiming for Chinese certification by the end of the year.

The C919, which was not present at the 2018 air show, uses LEAP-1C engines from CFM, a joint venture of General Electric Co. (GENE) and France’s Safran SA (SAF.PA). However, COMAC hopes to eventually use a domestic engine, the CJ1000, which is being developed by the Aero Engine Corp of China (AECC).

A full-size CJ1000 model including nacelles will be on display on the floor at the Zhuhai show, said Chen Shaoyang, vice general manager of AECC.

Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Stephen Coates

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