China rolls out upgraded regional aircraft

BEIJING: China has rolled out the upgraded version of its regional aircraft, Modem Ark (MA)600, in its quest to be worlds leading maker of turbo-prop regional aircraft.

The 60-seat MA 600, an improved version of MA 60, is 300 kgs lighter than the old model with enhanced energy saving capacity, improved power system, cabin design and trans-ocean flight capacities, the aircraft maker Xian Aircraft Industry (Group) said.

After five years, China would be able to deliver its own turbo-prop regional jet series, featuring MA 60, MA 600 and MA 700 catering to different kinds of end users, company president Meng Xiangkai said.

"The country will strive to be the worlds leading provider of turbo-prop regional aircraft," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Meng as saying in Xian.

MA60, powered by Pratt and Whitney PW-127J turboprop engines, is Chinas first home-grown regional plane designed and produced according to international standards, it said.

The plane with a maximum speed of 514 kms an hour and a flight range of 2,450 km or four hours was granted the "type certificate" in 2000 with commuter services as its primary role.

The company has received 122 orders, of which 15 have been exported to Africa including Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Research and development on the 70-seat MA 700 has also begun, Lin Zuomin, head of the preparation group for the China aviation industry group corporation said.

(The Economic Times)

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