Every so often I ask someone in the aero-engine industry when he or she thinks China will field a competitive commercial aircraft engine.
Bear in mind that the country's industry is chasing a moving target. So the engine for the C919 that Avic Commercial Aircraft Engine Co. Ltd. wants to develop will aim at the technology level of Western engines that are already in the works. But the Chinese engine will not appear until some years after they do, by which time the Western manufacturers will have moved on.
The most common answer I get is "it will take China 30 years", meaning that in the early 2040s ACAE will be going head to head with the big Western companies. One Western executive reckons China might do it in 20 years. Another says 40 years.
There is no way to be sure, of course.
We report at length on ACAE's plans in the April 18 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology.