Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chinese Aircraft Engines: Coming To An Airport Near You?

China Daily reports that Liu Daxiang, of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has said that the country cannot rely on imports to satisfy its future needs for new aero engines. China, it seems, has embarked on a large aircraft project and will therefore need to produce an indigenous engine that is coequal with the best of Western technology.

Well. What's that mean?

Reverse engineering and technology transfers from the West is what it means. One can study the process by which China acquired the technology to build large hydroelectric generators from Alstom, the French firm that contracted for some of the initial installations at the Three Gorges Dam project.

One may also take a look at the airliner engine industry as a whole. There are the majors: General Electric, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and there are consortia such as Engine Alliance (GE/PW), International Aero Engines, GE/Snecma and the like.

So here's my SWAG prediction.

If the story's for real, look for China to take a position in a company that needs a large infusion of cash to continue in the airline engine business. And then look for a 'consortium'.

Pratt & Whitney, anyone?


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