China Releases Images Of Future "Jumbo" Jet

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If the images portrayed by China’s Xinhua news agency are accurate, China’s jetliner for the 21st century looks suspiciously like a Russian military transport from the 1970s. The high-wing, high-tailed creation, with its multiple banks of landing gear trucks clustered under the fuselage, looks like the big Antonovs that still toil as chartered military cargo aircraft. It looks nothing like the sleek shape of the Boeing 787 that many consider the technology driver of the next generation of commercial airliners. Still, China seems pretty excited about its chances in the world market. "China's jumbo aircraft will initially target the domestic market. But the ultimate aim is to compete with Boeing and Airbus on the international market," said Jin Qiansheng, deputy director of the administrative committee of Xi'an Yanliang State Aviation High-tech Industry Base. According to Xinhua, China considers an aircraft to be in the “jumbo” category if it can carry 150 passengers and has a gross weight of more than 200,000 pounds. There have been no details released on the size of the Chinese jet, but Xinhua did say that cargo and passenger versions are planned. The news service says it will take at least 10 years to develop the aircraft. Meanwhile, final assembly has begun on the first ARJ-21 regional jet and its first flight is expected next March.