The ACAC ARJ21 Xiangfeng (翔凤 Flying Phoenix) is a twin-engined regional airliner, and is the first passenger jet to be developed and indigenously produced by the People's Republic of China. This program is supported by 19 major European and US aerospace components suppliers, including General Electric (engine production), Honeywell (Fly-By-Wire system) and Rockwell Collins (avionics production).
The ARJ21 is a key project, led by the government-controlled ACAC consortium, which began in March 2002 as part of China's "10th Five-Year Plan". The maiden flight of the ARJ21 was planned to take place in 2005 with formal handing over of the aircraft for use 18 months afterwards; however, the design work was delayed and the final trial production stage did not begin until June 2006. The first aircraft was rolled out on 21 December 2007 with plans for a maiden flight in March 2008; however this was first delayed to September 21 2008and finally took place on 28 November 2008. The aircraft is expected to become available to buyers in September 2009. The ACAC consortium aims to manufacture 11 ARJ21s a year by 2010, and 50 per year by 2015.
Although ACAC refers to the ARJ21 as "designed by Chinese with completely independent intellectual property rights", it is being built using tooling which was originally provided by the McDonnell Douglas company for licence-production of the MD-90 in China. Consequently, it bears a strong resemblance to the DC-9 family of aircraft, with an identical cabin cross section, nose profile and tail. An all-new supercritical wing, which will have a sweepback of 25 degrees and be fitted with winglets to improve aerodynamic performance, has been designed by Ukraine’s Antonov. Antonov Design Bureau also assisted project with geometrical determination and integral analysis of the construction strength of ARJ21.
In addition to the baseline and the stretched passenger models, ACAC has also proposed extended-range, freight, and business jet variants.
Members of the ACAC consortium, which was formed to develop the aircraft, will manufacture major components of the aircraft:
The Shanghai Aircraft Research Institute and the Xian Aircraft Design and Research Institute, which are also members of the consortium, are responsible for the design.
Orders and options
Entries shaded in pink have been announced, but have not yet signed a firm contract.
Published - July 2009
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