The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) developed MA700 turboprop aircraft designed for operation of short-haul regional routes has passed its initial design review.
The MA700 aircraft is touted as a competitor to the ATR-72 and the Bombardier Q400 both of which are the world’s preferred turboprop airplanes for short-haul routes for up to 70 passengers.
“On January 11, the MA700’s initial design has passed the review, which marks an important milestone for the MA700 development. The passing also marks the completion of the MA700 development in the pre-development phase for starting the engineering development and the detailed design”, AVIC said in a statement.
AVIC is claiming several technological firsts for the 70-seat aircraft including that it will be the world’s turboprop to adopt a fly-by-wire flight control system and can cruise at about 630 Km/h.
AVIC product information for the MA700 shows that the aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of 26,500kg and a maximum range of 2,700km, and is best positioned to serve markets within a 800km range. The aircraft can also be configured for between 68 and 86 seats.
AVIC is targeting the aircraft at markets in Asia and Africa characterised by low passenger load and airports in the hinterland that connect to major cities.