China-based manufacturer Avic has brought its MA600 twin turboprop to Dubai Air Show and the aircraft is performing daily in the flying display, making its international airshow debut.
Two aircraft are now operating in China for training purposes and delivery of the third–the one that is performing here at the show will be to Lao Airlines. That delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.
The first the two MA600s already delivered went to its owner–the Civil Aviation Flight University of China (Cafuc)–in December 2010 (seven months after Chinese certification) and the second in September this year. Avic has received a total 16 orders so far.
The new 50- to 60-seater MA600 is claimed to be heavily improved over the MA60, its predecessor. Avic said here at the show that the airframe has enhanced fatigue life and maintainability, while the empty weight has been reduced and stairs have been integrated into the passenger door.
In the cockpit, Rockwell Collins has supplied its Pro Line 21 avionics suite. The aircraft is certified for 120-minute extended twin-engine operations. Pratt & Whitney Canada is providing the PW127J engines, which contribute to better runway performance, and Honeywell is supplying the auxiliary power unit.
Asked about certification in other countries, an Avic official answered that “the MA600 will be certified in those countries where it will operate.” This would see it following in the footsteps of the MA60, which is certified in countries such as Zimbabwe, Congo, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bolivia.
The MA600’s maximum takeoff weight is 48,200 pounds. It can cruise at up to 277 knots and has a maximum range (at 232 knots) of 1,320 nm. In addition to the passenger version, the company is offering a variant for maritime patrol, rain seeding and rescue.
Preliminary design is said to be complete and Avic has interviewed 120 operators as to their preferences, officials said here. Entry into service is planned for 2017, and Avic is now working on a follow-on–the MA700–with a first flight scheduled for 2015.