Rolls-Royce keen on Sino-Russian widebody CR929

Rolls-Royce believes the Sino-Russian CR929 widebody aircraft is "excellent" and is determined to bid for the aero engine contract, said a senior executive with the British propulsion system developer.



"China is ambitious to boost its aviation industry. Rolls-Royce wants to be part of that ambition and effort," said Paul Stein, chief technology officer with Rolls-Royce. 

Rolls-Royce is one of the world's leading aircraft engine developers, and China is its third largest market.

The CR929 project is viewed as a major move to strengthen China's presence in its surging civil aviation market, which is dominated by US Boeing and European Airbus aircraft.

At the end of last year, the developer of the CR929, the joint venture China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Co. Ltd. (CRAIC), put out a worldwide tender for the aircraft's propulsion system, including the aero engine.

Stein said large aero engines for widebody aircraft are the focus of Rolls-Royce and its core technologies.

China' s civil aviation and aviation manufacturing sectors are on the rise. It will overtake the US in terms of passenger traffic by 2022, according to a market forecast from the International Aviation Transport Association.

The CR929 project is a further demonstration of China' s determination to boost its aviation industry following its self-developed C919, which had a successful maiden flight on May 5 last year.

The C919 narrow-body aircraft is equipped with LEAP-1C engines developed by CFM International, a joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE. 

Rolls-Royce has been cooperating with Chinese research institutions to develop new techniques and materials for low pressure turbine blades for gas turbine engines.

"We have cultivated an extensive network of suppliers in multiple cities in China, such as Shenyang, Xi'an, Chengdu and Wuxi, where we source more than $200 million worth of parts and components every year," said Stein.