Ukraine’s Antonov has signed a memorandum of understanding with Xi’an Aircraft Company (XAC) to help develop a new 70-seat turboprop dubbed the MA700, according to Chinese state-run media. The parties plan to discuss details on the cooperation during the upcoming Beijing International Aviation Exhibition, scheduled for September 19 to 22.
Now engaged in serial production of the 50-seat MA60 turboprop and wings and fuselage sections of the new ARJ21 regional jet, AVIC I subsidiary XAC plans to pursue EASA and FAA certification for the proposed 70-seater. Xi’an Aircraft International–55-percent owned by XAC–would finance the project through share offerings on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
A so-called “clean-sheet” proposal, the MA700 would likely bear little resemblance to the MA60, itself a descendant of the Soviet-era An-24 re-engined with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops.