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GE, Eaton Chosen as Suppliers for China Jumbo Jet Maker

Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China's C919 aircraft is seen as a potential competitor to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737.

State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) has chosen General Electric Co's Chinese joint venture to supply the electronics system for the country's first large passenger jet.

Comac's C919 aircraft -- due to make a trial flight in 2014 and be ready for service around 2016 -- is seen as a potential competitor to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737.

A joint venture between GE Aviation and state-owned Aviation Industries of China will supply avionics, display, airborne equipment maintenance and flight data recorder systems, the Chinese aircraft maker said.

Comac also said it had agreed with diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp to set up a Shanghai-based joint venture to supply fuel and hydraulic systems for the C919.

Eaton said on July 12 that based on projected production of 2,500 jets, the program was expected to be worth $1.8 billion.

The C919 jet is part of China's long-term plan to break the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the production of large commercial aircraft.

The first "9" in C919 was chosen because in Chinese the number sounds like a word that means "long time," while "19" reflects the fact that China's first large aircraft will have the ability to carry 190 passengers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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