Chinese manufacturer Harbin Aircraft’s Y-12F commuter transport has secured European certification, seven years after obtaining US approval.

The Y-12F is a 19-seat high-wing twin-turboprop, a development of the Y-12 which first flew over four decades ago – although the latest variant differs substantially from the original.

It is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines – driving five-blade aluminium propellers – and has a maximum range at full payload of 193nm (357km).

The aircraft has left and right fuel tanks each with capacity for 1,252kg of fuel. The Y-12F’s maximum operating speed is 209kt, and it has a maximum take-off weight of 8.4t.

Harbin Y-12F-c-Harbin Aircraft

Source: Harbin Aircraft

Harbin’s Y-12F is ultimately derived from a design originally developed in the 1980s

Harbin says the aircraft has undergone improvements to performance, reliability, maintainability and comfort. It can be configured to carry 3t of freight or serve as a VIP transport or special-mission platform.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency granted type certification on 13 July.

It states that the Y-12F is unpressurised, with a length of 16.47m and a span of 19.89m. The aircraft has forward and aft baggage compartments with respective capacities of 50kg and 250kg.

China’s civil aviation administration certified the Y-12F in December 2015, and US FAA validation followed in February 2016.

US regulators had previously certified earlier versions of the aircraft, the Y-12 IV in March 1995 and the Y-12E in August 2006, although EASA had not.