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COMAC C919 has been dubbed as one of the biggest successes in the Chinese aviation industry as this is the first narrow-body airliner capable of long-distance flight. This is important for China as this will save China an enormous amount of foreign currency in the decades to come.

However, this airliner uses an engine from CFM International, a joint venture between the American company GE and the French company Safran.

Why does China depend on US engines when the USA can put sanctions at any time if they see any competition in their existing market, and what is their backup plan for engines?

  • $\begingroup$ GE doesn't seem to like Boeing that much so the price should be quite attractive to the Chinese. In fact I think this is true for the entire project that they used so many US parts, because all US suppliers hates Boeing and are willing to give a second buyer at least a fair price. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2022 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ @user3528438, GE doesn't seem to like Boeing that much ... ... all US suppliers hates Boeing ... --- why? $\endgroup$
    – user366312
    Dec 1, 2022 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


Currently the only engine option for the Comac C919 available is the CFM LEAP high-bypass turbofan. The chinese are currently developing and certifying a domestic engine alternative, the ACAE CJ-1000 high-bypass turbofan engine. However as of today, this engine is delayed by 8 years and is projected to be ready for duty in 2030 (according to Aviation Week & Space Technology). I think it is safe to say that this engine was also their back-up plan, however with this massive delay in development, I speculate that if the US would not deliver engines anymore it would simply halt the development of the C919.

The underlying problem is that engine technology is very complicated and expensive to develop. The chinese are in the process of catching up, but are not done yet. Some good overview can be found in this question.


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