Jiangsu university 'convoys' China's aviation industry
The C919, China’s first homegrown large passenger plane, takes off from Pudong International Airport on its maiden flight in Shanghai on May 5. [Photo/Xinhua]
The C919, China’s first homegrown large passenger plane, completed its maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai, marking a milestone for China’s aviation industry and lending great weight and impetus to the country’s innovation and manufacturing drive.
Meanwhile, at the C919’s only and highly specialized assembly laboratory at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), Professor Huang Xiang and his team members are still working on the frontline.
“The assembly technologies are of major significance. Up to 70 percent of the time and cost of aircraft manufacturing is used for assembly,” the professor said.
His connection with the C919 started in 2009. Since then, he and his team members have achieved many breakthroughs, such as digital aircraft assembly technology, quality control on assembling connections, and automatic drilling and riveting technology. The brazed diamond grinding wheel, which was independently developed by the team, has especially boosted assembly technologies.
Professor Sun Youzhao and his team, describing themselves as the “safe guardians” of the C919, took on the responsibility for the overall airworthiness of the aircraft through its entire life-cycle, from design and manufacturing to operations and maintenance.
“What we do is to ensure the absolute safety of every passenger,” Sun said.