How China took over aircraft manufacturing


By Alex Nwuba


Alex Nwuba (CEO Smile Air)

So the Chinese have launched an airplane that directly competes with Boeing and Airbus’ most profitable category, the single aisle midsized jetliner. How did China get here?

I visited China’s aircraft manufacturing plant to get first-hand knowledge. First, China had a plan and it was, they will build aircraft and become a competitive player in the Aviation industry. The next task was to learn how.

Chinese companies went to Boeing and asked to build some of the wing and tail sections, then they went to Airbus and asked to build several components, then they went to ATR and asked to build the airframe. When McDonnell Douglas suspended production of some models, they went and bought molds, tooling etc. They went to Embraer and asked to build e-jets for the Chinese market. Then they went back to Airbus and asked to complete the interiors for aircraft coming to China… Step by step they learnt each step in making airplanes. Today, China is a force to be reckoned with in aviation.


Moral?  We have to learn from those who have done things successfully rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel. It is only then that we can start to innovate and improve to build a better product.


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