of 8 kilometers, and each of its shells can scatter dry extinguishing agents over about 20 squa
re meters. The gun features high mobility and accuracy, and is suitable for suppressing big fires, it said.
This is not the first time Norinco, the country’s largest arms producer for land weapons, has enter
ed the realm of firefighting. Before the gun, the company had developed and sold a series of firefighting tanks.
With the chassis and armor of a combat tank, the vehicles can protect crew members from fire, explosions and bui
lding collapses, and can cross half-meter-high obstacles or 2-meter-wide trenches. They have automatic spray dev
ices and fireproof coatings that can keep scorching heat out of the vehicles’ interiors.
The tanks can get closer to the scene than a fire engine for search-and-rescue missions, Norinco said.
Using 520-horsepower diesel engines and equipped with hydraulic devices
, the tanks can clear away obstacles weighing up to 15 metric tons. Their metal tracks allo
w them to operate on slopes, in rocky terrain and in the debris of collapsed buildings.
mmercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), for example. At the earliest, COMAC will get the airworth
iness certificate for C919 in 2021. Besides, just obtaining the certificate does not reduce even a bit of the difficulty in making and delivering the aircraft.
As the history of aircraft manufacturing shows, it is almost impossible for manufacturer
s to obtain airworthiness certificate and deliver aircraft to the purchasers on time. More often than not, aerospace companies ta
ke several years more than the promised time to deliver the aircraft. For instance, both Boeing 787 Drea
mliner and Airbus 380 were delivered years behind schedule. Which means delayed delivery is a norm in the aerospace industry.
In short, it would take decades for Chinese manufacturers to mass-produce airplanes irrespective of the rise and fall of other aircraft makers.
China has made great strides in industrialization during the 40 years of reform and opening
-up, but for that it learned from developed countries’ experiences and put its own experiences to good
use. The complete system of research, development, safety, production, supply chain and service that took Boein
g and Airbus decades to establish should be what Chinese aircraft manufacturers should strive for. With continuo
us efforts, C919 could earn its place in the civil aviation industry－perhaps 10, even 20, years later.