Rollout of COMAC C919 : Safran a major partner on China’s new jetliner

Shanghai, November 2, 2015
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Safran, a major engine and equipment supplier on COMAC's new C919, was on hand at the rollout of China's first mainline commercial jet today in Shanghai. Attending the rollout ceremony were Ma Kai, Vice Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, Jin Zhuanglong, Chairman of the Board COMAC, He Dongfeng, General Manager of COMAC, Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of CFM International, and Jean-Luc Doublet, Safran's head of commercial airplane programs in China, along with representatives of other program partners. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE.

Safran supplies the complete propulsion system on the C919. In addition to the LEAP engine from CFM, this system includes the nacelle and thrust reverser, manufactured by Nexcelle, a joint venture between Safran (Aircelle) and GE (Middle River Aircraft Systems). In 2009, COMAC became the first customer for the new LEAP engine, successor to the best-selling CFM56, because of its high reliability design and the incorporation of a latest-generation nacelle. The LEAP engine has now recorded 9,600 orders worldwide, including more than 1,000 for the C919.

Safran also supplies the electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) for this aircraft, through Shanghai SAIFEI Aviation EWIS Manufacturing Co. Ltd., a joint venture founded in 2012 by Safran (Labinal Power Systems) and Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (COMAC).

"Within a few years China should be the world aviation leader, in terms of airport capacity and the number of aircraft in service," said Jean-Luc Doublet. "So we are very proud to be a major partner on the C919, and to take part in this landmark event, which is highly symbolic not only for the Chinese aircraft industry, but also for Safran, since COMAC was the first aircraft manufacturer to choose the LEAP engine."

Safran has been present in China for 100 years, and over the last four decades it has created a number of partnerships with major players in the Chinese aviation industry, including AVIC and COMAC. Today, more than half of all mainline jets in China are powered by the CFM56, with over 3,900 of these engines in service or on order. Safran also supplies the engines and autopilots for more than half of all helicopters used in the country. At the same time, some 40% of the commercial airplanes in China use landing gear or brakes from Safran, which also provides biometric identification equipment and explosive detection systems for checked luggage to Chinese airports. Safran now has 20 entities and more than 1,800 people operating in China. 

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