China is likely to grant top-level support to the development of aero
engines to further grow the country’s burgeoning aircraft industry, a
senior engineer said Friday.
Gan Xiaohua, chief engineer of the Air Force Armament Research
Institute, said the development of aero engines would probably be added
to the list of national-level big research and development (R&D)
“Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Industry and
Information Technology are mulling the proposal, and steady progress
has been made,” Gan told Xinhua, without further elaboration.
The national big R&D initiative during the 2006-2025 period covers
an array of researches that are vital to China’s future development,
ranging from large-scale integrated circuit, new-generation broadband
wireless telecommunication, to manned space and lunar probe projects.
If included in the list, the project will be able to pool the necessary resources for achieving research breakthroughs.
The development of large passenger jets has already been part of the massively-funded initiative.
Wu Guanghui, vice general manager of the Commercial Aircraft
Corporation of China (COMAC) said earlier this month that China’s first
large passenger jet, the C919, would make its maiden flight in 2014 and
be put into service in 2016.
However, imported engines have to be used in the early stage of the
jet’s development, because “China’s aviation technology still lags
behind that of developed nations by about 20 years,” Gan said.