US firm Honeywell Aerospace is hoping to have its Apex integrated cockpit and some mechanical systems on China’s MA700 and it also plans to sub-contract out some work on mechanical systems and jointly develop new products with Chinese firms.
“We are meeting with design bureaus” in China and “having discussions about placing mechanical systems and getting the new Apex integrated cockpit” on the Xian Aircraft MA700 but it is still only early discussions, Honeywell Aerospace president Asia Pacific, Mark Howes, told ATI today at the Singapore Airshow.
The MA700 is a new 70-seat turboprop aircraft that Xian Aircraft plans to launch this year and it promises to be completely different to its current product offering, the MA60 which is a 50-60 seat turboprop.
Honeywell provides the auxiliary power unit on the MA60 while its arch-rival Rockwell Collins provides the avionics.
Howes says because Honeywell has been speaking to China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) I’s First Aircraft Design Institute (FAI), invariably the meetings have also included discussions about the 150-plus seat commercial aircraft that China plans to develop and build.
FAI is significant because it is the country’s leading aircraft design bureau.
The Chinese company that is to spear-head the 150-seater programme is due to be established next month and the aim is to have the aircraft enter service in 2020.
AVIC I and II are expected to be shareholders in the new programme company.
While Honeywell is working to get its products on more Chinese-built aircraft, the US firm is also looking to subcontract out more work to China.
Honeywell has a joint venture company with AVIC I’s Nanjing Engineering Institute of Aircraft Systems (NEIAS).
This joint venture works on fuel control, auxiliary power units and environmental control systems, says Howes.
“We are having dialogue with many companies” in China about sub-contracting out work to China on auxiliary power units and aircraft engine parts although Honeywell has to be mindful about US laws with regards to the transfer of manufacturing technologies, he says.
Howes also says Honeywell is building its engineering capability in Beijing and Shanghai and plans to jointly develop some new products with Chinese partners.
China’s government announced two years ago that the country will develop its individual capability and wants foreign firms to help with this, he adds.
One of the reasons Honeywell shifted its Asia Pacific regional office from Singapore to Shanghai is because it could see much of the growth was in China and good opportunities were emerging from the country’s indigenous aircraft programmes, explains Howes.
“Our view is that China has reached a point where it has set up structures that have improved the chances of success” for Chinese aircraft programmnes, he adds.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news
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