The order is unusual because Xian Aircraft did not insist on non-disclosure. Boeing and Bombardier usually do. Notably, the Chinese insisted that everything delivered under the contract be U.S.-made. Freight may have been cheaper if some of the fabrication had been done in China, but the customer preferred to pay extra. Electroimpact is due to deliver within a year.
Its British subsidiary will provide 20% of the components. The Chinese did not object to “Made in Britain,” either; it just did not want anything stamped “Made in China.” Sieve wonders whether Xian Aircraft believes it will be easier to certify the C919 if its tooling is Western-made.
—With Michael Mecham in San Francisco.