This research project compares and contrasts the institutional arrangements of China in the 1980’s during its failed attempt at commercial aircraft development with today and concludes that different internal structures lead to different levels of effectiveness and success with respect to implementing policy favorable for the development of commercial aviation. This study specifically analyzes China’s development of its C-919 large-passenger aircraft through the lens of Porter’s Determinant Model. The model serves as a blueprint for analyzing what China must do to increase its probability of developing a competitive, large-passenger aircraft. To explore the underlying questions of what China is doing right and what areas need improvement, the author interviewed key aviation professionals and sampled the limited publications on the topic in both English and Chinese. Secondly, this study looks at the potential implications the success of the C-919 may have on Boeing and Airbus and the ways in which the United States and Europe might prepare to meeting the challenges they face.