Posts tagged ‘Aviation Industry Corporation of China’

03/12/2014

Under Pressure: The 10-Story Machine China Hopes Will Boost Its Aviation Industry. – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The engineers started closing the rollerdoor the moment they saw a foreigner walking toward them.

Standing around laughing in blue overalls and yellow hard hats, they went quiet the moment I started walking up the drive. I asked if I could take a peek behind the door. They said it was a secret.

Still, I managed to catch a glimpse of two floors’ worth of the 10-story-tall machine Beijing hopes will play a major role in driving China’s aviation and aerospace industries: an 80,000-ton closed-die hydraulic press forge.

Repeated requests for a tour of the forge were declined. Both Zhang Jian, the head of propaganda at Erzhong Group, the company that built and operates the forge, and Wang Yu, the secretary of the board of directors of Erzhong’s Shanghai-listed unit, said that the forge is “confidential.”

It’s not immediately clear what about the machine – which is painted green with Erzhong Group printed across it in red Chinese characters – is so secret.

The machine is the biggest of its kind in the world. The biggest forge in the U.S. can exert only 50,000 tons of pressure, and is operated by Alcoa AA +0.93% in Ohio. France has a 65,000-ton machine, and Russia has a machine capable of exerting 75,000 tons of pressure.

But the technology China is using is nothing new. It is based on modifications of Russian designs from the 80s, according to a person involved in the development process.

More sensitive is was China can potentially do with it.

Press forging involves shaping a piece of metal under high pressure by squeezing it into a mold. That alters the flow of the metal’s grain – its internal structure – allowing engineers to create stronger and lighter components than would be possible by just beating them into shape or welding them together. Greater pressure results in stronger components.

The Erzhong forge can exert up to 80,000 tons of downward pressure using five columns. Flipped upside down, it could lift China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier, with room to spare for a handful of submarines. Airbus is using the Russian forge to make landing gear components for the A380, the world’s biggest passenger plane. Having the world’s biggest forge should allow China to produce large components of higher strength than possible elsewhere.

The technology was pioneered during WWII by Germany, which didn’t have a sufficient supply of steel and so had to mold its air force out of more brittle, but lighter metals, according to Tim Heffernan, a writer who has researched the U.S. forge program. The end of the war brought the start of the jet age, and the U.S. government provided support for the building of forges around the country, so that the country was able to produce light planes that were sufficiently strong to withstand supersonic speeds.

Alcoa’s forge has been producing parts for Boeing and Airbus for decades. The company says it supplies almost all forged wheel and brake components for U.S. military aircraft and helicopters, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the U.S. military’s newest fighter jet.

Erzhong hasn’t explicitly said what the forge will be used for, but academics involved in its development process said there are potential military applications.

The first component produced by the forge at its official launch in April last year was the landing gear for the C919,  China’s long-awaited and much behind schedule narrow-bodied passenger aircraft being built by the Commercial Aircraft Company of China.

via Under Pressure: The 10-Story Machine China Hopes Will Boost Its Aviation Industry. – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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22/11/2014

In China, 8,000 Teachers Go on Strike – Businessweek

For three days in November, 8,000 schoolteachers in China’s northern Heilongjiang province refused to enter a classroom. They were on strike, demanding that the city government honor a pledge made in January to raise their salaries and benefits.

An SVG map of China with Heilongjiang province...

An SVG map of China with Heilongjiang province highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s remarkable about this demonstration is that there is no equivalent of the American Federation of Teachers in China; independent unions in any industry sector remain illegal. And yet, from factory workers to teachers, Chinese citizens are increasingly using the toolkit of collective action to push for fair labor practices.

Earlier this year, the government of Zhaodong, a city of about 100,000 people, promised to raise teacher salaries and provide compensation for those forced to travel in snowy and inclement weather. (Heilongjiang is China’s northernmost province, bordering Siberia.) For almost 10 months, the promises went unfulfilled.

via In China, 8,000 Teachers Go on Strike – Businessweek.

11/11/2014

Airbus aims to double China component sourcing value to $1 billion by 2020 | Reuters

European jet maker Airbus Group NV (AIR.PA) aims to double the annual value of aircraft components it sources from China to $1 billion by 2020, the firm’s China Chief Operating Officer, Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll-Garzon, said on Tuesday.

A flight test engineer holds an Airbus Group flag after the first flight of the Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) in Colomiers near Toulouse, southwestern France, September 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The Airbus executive’s comment, made on the sidelines of China’s premier airshow in Zhuhai, came as the European firm’s chief rival Boeing (BA.N) said it’s also seeking to ramp up China component sourcing.

Kent Fisher, Boeing Commercial Airplane’s vice-president and general manager of supplier management, said that over the next few years his company is looking to double the $2 billion worth of aircraft parts it has sourced from China in total over the last 30 years. Fisher was speaking at a separate press briefing at the air show and didn’t provide further details.

Boeing also said it had signed a deal with Aviation Industry Corporation of China to produce composite tail parts for the Boeing 777 program, beginning in 2017.

Airbus and Boeing have been competing fiercely in China, which will need over 6,020 new planes worth $870 million the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s latest forecast.

Both have been increasing their sourcing in China, using locally made composite materials and parts like emergency doors in aircraft like the Airbus A330 and Boeing B787 jets.

via Airbus aims to double China component sourcing value to $1 billion by 2020 | Reuters.

28/02/2013

* China nears approval of $16 billion domestic jet-engine plan

Xinhua: “China’s cabinet may soon approve an aircraft engine development program that will require investment of at least 100 billion yuan ($16 billion), state-run Xinhua news agency quoted unidentified industry sources as saying.

A woman walks past the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) headquarters building in Beijing October 30, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China is determined to reduce its dependency on foreign companies like Boeing Co (BA.N), EADS-owned Airbus (EAD.PA), General Electric Co (GE.N) and Rolls Royce Plc (RR.L) for the country’s soaring demand for planes and engines.

So far the domestic aerospace industry has failed to build a reliable, high-performance jet engine to end its dependence on Russian and Western makers for equipping its military and commercial aircraft.

Xinhua on Thursday quoted an unidentified professor at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) with knowledge of the project as saying the investment would be used mainly for research on technology, designs and materials related to aircraft engine manufacturing.

The project was going through approval procedures in the State Council and may be approved shortly, the professor was quoted as saying.

Participants in the project include Shenyang Liming Aero-Engine Group Corp, AVIC Xi’an Aero-Engine (Group) Ltd (600893.SS) and research institutes including the BUAA, Xinhua reported.

Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country’s dominant military and commercial aviation contractor, had lobbied the government to back a multi-billion dollar plan to build a high-performance jet engine.”

via China nears approval of $16 billion domestic jet-engine plan: Xinhua | Reuters.

27/01/2013

* China’s jumbo air freighter test flight a success

Xinhua/Reuters: “China has conducted a successful test flight of its first domestically developed jumbo air freighter, the official state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday.

The Yun-20 during its first test flight. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Yun-20, or Transport-20, is designed for long-distance air transport of both cargo and passengers, Xinhua reported.

“The successful maiden flight of Yun-20 is significant in promoting China’s economic and national defense build-up as well as bettering its emergency handling such as disaster relief and humanitarian aid,” Xinhua said, adding that further test flights are scheduled.

China is determined to reduce dependency on foreign firms such as Boeing (BA.N), Airbus (EAD.PA), General Electric (GE.N) and Rolls Royce Plc (RR.L) for the country’s soaring demand for planes and engines.

Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country’s dominant military and commercial aviation contractor, has lobbied for Beijing to back a multi-billion dollar plan to build a high-performance engine.

Meanwhile a host of design flaws has delayed approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China for the country’s homegrown 90-seat ARJ21 regional passenger jet.

English: Model of the Comac C919

English: Model of the Comac C919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At last November’s China Airshow, China unveiled 50 new orders for its COMAC C919 passenger jet which is designed to challenge Airbus and Boeing in the largest segment of the $100 billion annual jetliner market.

The orders for the 150-seat jet boosted the official tally to 380, reaching the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China‘s declared breakeven point of 300-400 orders.

However, analysts say it will be some time before the aircraft, due to make its maiden flight in 2014, proves both its technical worth and its financial viability.”

via China’s jumbo air freighter test flight a success: Xinhua | Reuters.

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