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UPDATED: July 19, 2008 NO. 30 JUL. 24, 2008
Up, Up and Away
Xi'an Aircraft Industry Group rolls up its sleeves to manufacture the country's first large passenger aircraft

FLY CHINA: Xi’an Aircraft Industry Group rolls out the MA600, a new regional passenger aircraft on June 29. The company’s next project is to manufacture the country’s first large passenger aircraft

China is now one step closer to fulfilling its desire to build its own large passenger aircraft. The government has tasked Xi'an Aircraft Industry Group Co. Ltd. (XAC), one of the country's top domestic aircraft producers, to manufacture the jet. On July 1, a group of XAC's professionals led by the company Chairman Meng Xiangkai visited the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. (CACC), which was inaugurated two months ago to direct the aircraft-building activities. This move was designed to involve XAC in the construction program and promote joint technology research on the manufacture of large aircraft, or planes with a load capacity that exceeds 100 tons. Such planes are used for both military and civilian purposes and include cargo and passenger carriers with 200 seats.

The government has directed CACC to take the lead in developing, manufacturing and marketing the aircraft, while XAC has the task of conducting more tangible research work, Meng told Xinhua News Agency.

In the meantime, CACC still will be responsible for coordinating research, supplying raw materials and providing funding and technology applications.

Since its creation in 1958, XAC has produced more than 20 types of aircraft for both military and civilian use. Its military planes are used by the country's air force. Its MA600, a new regional aircraft rolled out on June 29, has safety, comfort and maintenance features that are on par with planes made by large global manufacturers.

XAC has always been positioned as a research and manufacturing base for large and medium-sized aircraft for both civilian and military use, Meng said. The company has become a super-sized aircraft producer that integrates scientific research and manufacturing. It is affiliated with China Aviation Industry Corp. I, a large stakeholder of CACC. This affiliation justifies XAC's pivotal position in aircraft manufacturing, Meng said.

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