Can China Take On Boeing and Airbus?

Despite the mainland's spotty record of building big jets, a new company has been launched to reduce Chinese reliance on Western planes
At the Beijing airport. China's government hopes its new company to manufacture big jets will reduce the country's reliance on Airbus and Boeing. LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

China hasn't had a good track record building big airplanes. The first Made-in-China big jet was the Shanghai Y-10, which had its maiden flight on Sept. 26, 1980. The 150-seat jet was as big as a Boeing 707 and bore a striking similarity to the American plane. The Y-10 flew 130 times, but the Chinese retired it in 1985 because local airlines refused to purchase it, preferring to buy the more fuel-efficient planes from Boeing (BA) and McDonnell Douglas instead.

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