AIRSHOW CHINA: AVIC hopes for MA700 green light by end-2012

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Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) hopes to get governmental approval to proceed with the development of the MA700 twin turboprop regional aircraft by the end of 2012.

The MA700, which will be produced by AVIC's Xian Aircraft unit, will have a standard configuration for 76 seats, compared with 52 seats for the MA600. The aircraft will also be available as a freighter and can be modified to serve other missions.

The MA700 will also have more powerful engines, but the aircraft's powerplant has yet to be determined. The MA600 is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW127J.

A large model of the MA700 was featured prominently at the AVIC stand at Airshow China in Zhuhai.

If development of the MA700 is approved, AVIC hopes for the type to receive certification from both the Civil Aviation Administration of China and US Federal Aviation Administration in 2017.

AVIC has already started discussing the proposed aircraft with both domestic Chinese and international carriers, although it has yet to obtain approval to officially offer the aircraft.