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China to unveil first jumbo jet engine

SHANGHAI, Aug 27 – China plans to unveil its first home-made jumbo jet engine in 2016, state media reported on Thursday, a major step that would improve its chances of competing with global players Airbus and Boeing.

The target announced by AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co Ltd, reported by the Oriental Morning Post, is the latest step in China\’s efforts to build large aircraft, including passenger jets with more than 150 seats, by 2020.

"China is expected to complete the research on its first jumbo jet engine in 2016 and begin to apply for aviation certificate from the state aviation authority," the official Xinhua news agency cited the engine maker as saying.

"We hope the home-made engine will fly together with the home-made large aircraft," Zhang Jian, general manager of the Shanghai-based AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co Ltd, was quoted as saying.

The first large passenger jet, or C919, is to be manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, or COMAC, an arm of the government-owned aviation giant China Aviation Industry Corp, AVIC.

Developing aircraft engines will help China, which now only makes military aircraft engines, break the monopoly of foreign suppliers such as GE, Rolls-Royce and the Pratt and Whitney Group, the reports said.

Although the first batch of home-made jumbo jets are likely to be powered by foreign-made engines, Chinese engines will be used in later models, Wang Zhilin, deputy general manager of the engine company, which is 40 percent held by AVIC, was quoted as telling Xinhua.

China will exhibit a model of the C919 next month at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress in Hong Kong, the state-run China Daily reported Thursday.

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