HARBIN, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and China plan to collaborate on developing a wide-body long-haul passenger airliner, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.
The project is only financially viable as a collaboration, as Airbus and Boeing already account for 80 percent of Russia’s long-range passenger aircraft market, Rogozin said.
He offered no indication of the project’s current status, only saying that Russian aircraft design bureau chiefs were due to meet soon to discuss it.
The future airliner must not be a “blind copy of Airbus and Boeing,” Rogozin said.
Russia and China could also start developing and manufacturing a new heavy-lift helicopter with capacity double that of the Mi-26, the deputy prime minister said.
The Mi-26 is the world’s largest and most powerful helicopter, with a payload of up to 20 tons.
He dismissed the opinion of skeptics who say there will be no demand for such a helicopter, adding that Chinese specialists were ready for consultations on a joint helicopter project.