Hongdu Aviation Industry and its Russian partner Yakovlev Design Bureau are working on a new primary trainer that will have its first flight next year in time for certification in 2010.

Liang Zhenhe, vice-president of Hongdu's parent company Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) II, says detailed design will be finished by the end of this year, first flight will be in 2008 and certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Russian civil aviation authority will be completed in 2010.

"Chu Ying" is the aircraft's Chinese name and it will replace the PT-6, a primary trainer that was first made in the 1950s and is still used by China's air force.

Liang confirms the new primary trainer will be based on the Yakovlev Yak-152.

Hongdu and Yakovlev have formed a 50/50 joint venture for this project, says Liang, adding that each side is helping with the design and will "share in the profits and the risk".

He also says each side is developing its own engine and there will be an aircraft assembly line in China and Russia to serve the respective home markets.

The Chu Ying and the PT-6 are military trainers, but both have civil aviation training applications, adds Liang.

Source: Flight International