On November 2 China revealed its first large C919 passenger airliner, attracting attention of the whole world once again. Why is China building big jets in the days of stable relations between aerospace suppliers and consumer market?
In 2009 both Boeing and Airbus published a report on the global aviation market and its forecast for the next twenty years, making an identical civil aviation market outlook. Interestingly they both believe that a stable and relatively rapid growth of the Chinese economy will play an important role in the creation of market demand. It is estimated that in the next 20 years China will need to build 3689-3800 new large aircrafts, its economic value reaches around 400 billion dollars. In addition to direct economic benefits, the production of large planes can lead to the economic overlapping effect. According to a survey made in Japan, calculating cost per unit, the ratio of a boat is 1, auto car — 9, PC — 300, regional airliner — 800, aircraft engines — 1400. Thus there is no need to talk about economic value of big jets.
Apart from its economic value, large airplane manufacturing also has a far-reaching strategic significance. Since the history of aviation began, it is considered to be a classic civil defense industry. All of the international aviation industry leaders (including Boeing and Airbus) produced both war crafts and civilian airliners; for instance, the US army has always been Boeing's main customer. The reasons for this are very simple. In addition to reducing costs and increasing profits, the main reason is universal manufacturing process. Moreover, the special functions of the airplanes in modern society are increasingly valuable. In the future, the use of aircrafts will become increasingly important in dealing with emergencies such as natural disasters, large scale evacuation of people, material goods, etc. Without technological innovation and development in this field, not only China will be "managed by others," but it won't be possible for us to bring “Made in China” concept to a new height.
"China is a big country and we can't manufacture all the goods in the world; but we have to make such fundamental things like airplanes and cars" — Mao Zedong said in the middle of the 20 century. Perhaps the official launch of the C919 domestic manufacturer would be the best response to this summon.