Coming soon to a sky above you? The rival to Boeing and Airbus that you’ve probably never heard of

Benjamin Franklin’s oft-quoted, much-paraphrased comment about how “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” might also be adapted, as it frequently is, to include the hegemony of two particular plane manufacturers.

Such is the dominance of Boeing and Airbus in churning out workhorses of the skies that it can be easy to forget other aircraft producers exist – many of them struggling to compete with the status quo.

So the news that a fledgling operator is making slow but discernible progress into a market that tends to look sewn-up may be a surprise to those who take an interest in such affairs. That the newcomer is owned by the Chinese state will be less of a shock.