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Joint Chinese-US Venture to develop new regional airliner and corporate aircraft

A new regional airline and corporate business jet is under development by a joint venture combining the economic and technical strength of one of China's major industrial corporations with US-based Alliance Aircraft Ltd., an engineering and design firm with extensive experience in aircraft development and manufacturing.

Mei Li Xing Hang Industrial Corporation, based in Chongqing, Peoples Republic of China, and Alliance Aircraft, of Reading PA, USA, have announced the formation of Chongqing Commercial Aircraft Corporation (CCAC), a joint venture dedicated to developing the StarLiner 100, a twin-engine transport category aircraft and business jet.

Qingzhang Wang, chairman of CCAC, said the Joint Venture has been initially capitalized at a level of $500 million RMB or $81 million USD to support initial start-up activity. The company expects to secure financing totaling approximately $800 million USD to finance aircraft sales and support activity prior to initial deliveries.

Earl Robinson, CEO and President of CCAC said the StarLiner 100 will be a 50-seat aircraft in the 50,000-pound (22,700 kg) class, designed to replace the first generation of 50-passenger fanjet and turboprop regional airliners, including ERJs, CRJs, ATRs and comparable aircraft. “Our studies show a market for at least 600 aircraft among regional carriers around the world in the next 15 years,” he said.

“The StarLiner 100 will be made primarily of advanced composites and be powered by the latest technology fanjet or geared turbine engines in the 9,000-lbs thrust range,” Robinson said, “providing an aircraft that will be 20-percent more economical than the aircraft it is designed to replace.”

Design studies and development on the StarLiner 100 have been underway for more than a year, Robinson said, including extensive research with regional carriers around the world to determine what the next generation regional airliner should be. “A major requirement is for a true stand-up cabin for 98 percent of all passengers. With a 6'5” cabin height at the center aisle, the StarLiner 100 will deliver on that promise.”

Robinson said the StarLiner 100 is being designed around a modern integrated avionics suite, with final engine and avionics selection to be based on an on-going competition among several potential manufacturers. The aircraft is being developed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) design techniques and computer assisted assembly. Based on the demonstrated capability of this technology, CCAC is projecting certification and first deliveries of the StarLiner 100 in the late 2018-2019 timeframe. The company is already eight months into what it is projecting as a 47-month development program to include design, procurement, fabrication, assembly, flight test, certification, sales and marketing, and development of an initial support program. In airliner configuration the StarLiner 100 is expected to sell in the $20M USD range in current dollars.

A corporate version of the StarLiner 100 is under simultaneous development and is expected to be available around 2020. In airliner configuration the aircraft will have a range of about 2,000 nautical miles and cruise at Mach .80. As a corporate aircraft it is projected to have a range of about 4,000 nm. Both will be certified to operate at FL 410.

Design and development will take place at CCAC facilities, with assembly, flight test and certification planned for Chongqing facilities in China. Certification will be sought from US, European and China authorities.

“We are proud to bring this joint venture of Chinese and American capabilities to the regional airline and business aviation markets,” said Pike Feng, a member of the CCAC Board of Directors in New York City. “CCAC joins a list of growing Chinese investment in US aviation programs, including Cirrus Aircraft, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, Continental Motors and most recently Mooney Aviation Company that is providing financial stability and the capability to fund ambitious development programs to the benefit of everyone concerned.”

Press release issued by Chongqing Commercial Aircraft Corp (CCAC) on May 19, 2016

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Chongqing Commercial Aircraft Corp (CCAC) Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
CACC StarLiner 100

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