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Aviation Industries of China (AVIC)
China Aviation Industry Corporation [CAIC]

No.67 Jiaodaokou NakaJie, 
Beijing China   100712
Tel: 8610-64032115
Fax: 8610-64013648

On 01 July 1999, in an effort to become more competitive, China established ten new state-owned aviation corporations, including splitting AVIC (Aviation Industry of China), which ahd 560,000 employees, into AVIC I and II. AVIC I and II are both cooperators and competitors. AVIC I AND II are equal economic entities authorized by the state to make investments, operating as a state holding company under the direct supervision of the Central Government. The scope of business for AVIC I and AVIC II look similar, but have a different emphasis. Generally speaking, AVIC I focuses on large- and medium-sized aircraft while AVIC II gives priority to feeder aircraft and helicopters.

On April 17, 1951, the Central Military Commission and Government Administration Council promulgated a "Resolution on Building an Aviation Industry." Subsequently China's aviation industry has developed from repair and maintenance work to modelling on existing types to building of planes of its own design. Chinese industry has designed and built upwards of 60 types of fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, transports and trainers, totalling over 10,000 planes.

In its earlier incarnations as the Third Ministry of Machine-Building and the Ministry of Aviation Industry, AVIC paid relatively little attention to combat needs or maintenance requirements. In the familiar Soviet-style pattern of the "Tyranny of the Producers," equipment was produced according to existing Ministry capabilities, rather than improving combat capabilities through increasing system sophistication. The Ministry of Aviation produced thousands of combat aircraft, most of which were obsolescent, if not obsolete, rather than attempt to develop better designs.

Aviation Industries of China (AVIC), also known as the China Aviation Industry Corporation [CAIC], was a large national industrial corporation under the direct leadership of the State Council. It owned an extensive network of development, production and related business operations, which encompasses 111 enterprises, 36 research institutes, 6 universities and colleges with a total staff of 560,000. It was responsible for developing and manufacturing military aircraft, civil aircraft, missiles, aeroengine and airborne equipment, and also had research capabilities in aerodynamics, structures, flight testing, materials, manufacturing technology, computational methods and automatic control. It established market presence in industrial equipment, instrument,gas turbine, automobile and motor cycles. AVIC established ties with over 70 countries and has exported its aircraft, engine and airborne equipment to more than 10 countries and produced parts and components of aircraft and engine for over 20 manufacturers.

In the past there were serious problemsm with the quality of Chinese military aircraft. Chinese aircraft manufacturers' quality control tended to be uneven. Entire Chinese aircraft types were recalled to their factories in 1975, and in the 1980s Chinese combat aircraft were reported to have serious maintenance problems.

However, in the wake of joint ventures with the United States and Europe in the area of civilian aircraft (particularly the MD-80 and MD-90 at Shanghai Aircraft Industries Corp. (SAIC)) the general level of Chinese aircraft workmanship has apparently risen. Because Western commercial standards are more stringent than previous Chinese specifications, the overall level of Chinese quality control has improved. Chinese combat aircraft are now reported to have a much smoother surfaces than before, suggesting a flow of personnel and expertise from civilian to military production lines.

AVIC I mainly engages in the development, manufacturing, sales, and after-sales services of military and civil aircraft, engines, airborne equipment, weaponry systems. They also produce non-aviation products. Military products include fighters, fighter-bombers, bombers, transports, trainers and reconnaissance aircraft. Fighters in mass production are F7, F8 and their derivatives. Bombers include the H5 and H6 series. Trainers include the FT6, FT7, and HJ5. Civil aircraft include the Y7 and its derivatives, which are short to medium range transport aircraft. Non-aviation products include more than 3000 different types of products in 8 major categories including industrial gas turbines, automobiles, motorcycles, refrigerating machinery and environmental protection equipment. AVIC I services include aircraft leasing and general aviation services, geotechnical engineering, construction contracting and real estate.

AVIC I has 53 large- and medium-sized industrial enterprises, 31 research institutes, 19 specialized companies and institutions respectively engaged in foreign trade, material supply, scientific research and product development. Nearly 240 thousand people are employed in industrial enterprises while 45,000 more employees work in research institutes. Total assets are RMB 34.9 billion.

Examples of AVIC I enterprises include Chengdu Aircraft Company, Xian Aircraft Company, Nanchang Aircraft Company, Shenyang Aircraft Company and their National Trade Bureau. Parts for Boeing jetliners and other non-Chinese aircraft are made at these facilities. Y-7 and military aircraft are also under the responsibility of AVIC I. AVIC I & II each hold 50% of CATIC (China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation) shares.

Non-Combatant Commercial Aircraft

Passenger Airline Agriculture Helicopter Special Purpose

Sources and Resources

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