While the partners are not divulging details, it is clear that Cessna has mitigated the technical difficulty in the program by beginning with only assembly—a relatively small part of the production process that will nonetheless reward government backers with the prestige of pushing complete aircraft out of a local plant.
Lessons To Learn
Cessna was one of at least seven business-jet builders that AAT approached as potential partners that could help it get into making such aircraft. Avic head office had told it to follow Dassault’s business structure in sharing design talent, technology and manufacturing facilities between combat aircraft and high-performance business jets.
Before the agreement with Cessna was announced, industry executives said AAT and Chengdu city had proposed to set up a new company for the project. While that will further complicate the bewildering wiring diagram of Avic’s organization, it should also offer a chance to build up an enterprise with greater efficiency and better management than the notoriously bureaucratic state aircraft builder.
Staff will presumably be drawn from AAT but also possibly from a civil aircraft manufacturing enterprise at Chengdu that belongs to another part of Avic and is more experienced in serving commercial customers instead of the Chinese air force.