While AVIC’s long-term priority is to develop high-performance engines for military aircraft, it is also trying to design engines for passenger aircraft in the world’s fastest growing civil aviation market.
Some Chinese aviation industry specialists forecast that the government will spend up to 300 billion yuan on jet engine development over the next two decades.
In his address to the party congress on Thursday, outgoing President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of science and technology in strengthening state power. He called on the state and enterprises to work closely and use the market to push for innovation.
Hu called for “major science and technology development plans and achieve major technological breakthrough”. He did not elaborate.
AVIC, which is aiming to quadruple its sales to one trillion yuan by 2020 from 250 billion yuan in 2011, has been pouring resources into aviation research, but engine development remains its most challenging task.
“We have seen rapid development of aviation technology, but there is still a big gap with international players in engine technology,” Lin said.