China and Russia will relaunch the CRAIG CR929 project, formerly known as Comac C929. The aircraft would be the two countries’ answer to compete with long-range, twin-aisle models from Airbus and Boeing. Sanctions imposed on Russia are causing additional problems for the programme, which had already suffered delays from its initial schedule.
Hypothetical restrictions on China due to its possible intervention in Taiwan would add to the difficulties. In this context, both countries decided to reformulate the project and dispense with any component of Western origin. The aircraft design will be adapted to only Russian and Chinese components, according to what was reported.
Initially, the Chinese state-owned company Comac and the Russian consortium of aeronautical companies United Aircraft Corporation had planned to complete the first take-off of the CR929 in 2021. However, the tentative date was postponed to 2025. According to Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade, the new deadline will also not be met.
According to the official, the restructuring process is already underway and the choice of new suppliers should be completed this year. However, the situation «delays the project schedule by another two to three years». Thus, the first flight of the initial prototype of the aircraft could not be expected before 2028.
In May of this year, China and Russia agreed on programme issues related to the design, investment and division of labor.
As detailed by both companies, the CR929 will offer a capacity of up to 440 passengers in single class, or between 258 to 291 in a two- or three-class configuration. The aircraft will have a length of 63.75 meters and a wingspan of 63.86 meters. Its maximum take-off weight (MTOW) will be 245 tons and its range would be around 12.000 kilometers.