John Dowdy, the director of McKinsey & Co.’s A&D consulting practice, recently asked an audience which nation the U.S. replaced in 1892 as having the world’s largest economy. Most wrongly guessed it was the U.K. The correct answer is China. Dowdy’s point: Chinese leaders view the last century as an aberration and are aiming to reclaim their country’s role as a leading economic power. And creating an aircraft industry is a big part of that ambition. Comac’s development of the C919 ...


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