A JOINT US-MALAYSIAN venture is to market the AeroTiga light aircraft, formerly the Datwyler MD3-160 Swiss Trainer, in North America, with plans to begin final assembly there by 1996.

SME Aero is a joint venture between Malaysia's SME Aviation and Florida-based Aero Associates.

Production of the Swiss-designed AeroTiga has begun in Kuala Lumpur, and SME plans to complete 12 aircraft by the end of 1995. The Indonesian and Malaysian air forces have each ordered 20 aircraft for pilot training and the Thai air force is said to be interested.

The two-seat, fully aerobatic, AeroTiga sells for $150,000 with a 120kW (160hp) Textron Lycoming engine. British Aerospace has helped prepare the all-metal design for production. The aluminium-honeycomb wing consists of just five major modules, which are interchangeable between the left and right sides.

SME Aero plans to sell the AeroTiga in North America as a trainer or sports aircraft, with final assembly at Aero Associates' Tallahassee, Florida, base.

Source: Flight International