AIRSHOW-China, Russia take step closer to new long-haul jet
* Planemakers COMAC, UAC show model of widebody jet at expo
* 50-50 Shanghai-based JV to begin operations this year
* Jet targets market dominated by Airbus, Boeing
* State-backed plan highly ambitious: analysts (Adds comment, background)
By Brenda Goh
ZHUHAI, China, Nov 2 (Reuters) - China and Russia took a step closer on Wednesday to the joint development of a long-haul jet to challenge Boeing and Airbus, displaying a model of the unnamed plane that would compete with Western rivals.
State-owned planemakers Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and United Aircraft Corp (UAC) of Russia said they had started the hunt to find suppliers, as they presented a mock-up of the wide-body jet at Airshow China.
Neither firm gave details on financing or technical specifications for what Western analysts call a politically-driven initiative that will be difficult to pull off and is likely to carry a high price tag.
China opened the show on Tuesday in the southern city of Zhuhai with a brief flypast of its J-20 stealth fighter, in a demonstration of military clout. Продолжение...