Beijing Pan-Pacific Aerospace Technology (BPAT) – a joint venture between New Zealand aircraft maker Pacific Aerospace and China’s Beijing General Aviation Company (BGAC) – will open a manufacturing facility on 21 October to house production of Pacific’s P-750 XSTOL single-engined turboprop, E-350 Expedition and CT-4E Airtrainer piston singles for the Chinese market.

Located in Changzhou, the purpose-built plant will have the capacity to produce up to 100 units per year. The first aircraft – a reassembled P-750 XSTOL with the registration XL-204 – will be unveiled at the opening event. The extremely short-take-off and landing type will then be flown to Airshow China, in Zhuhai, where it will be on display from 1-6 November.

Damian Camp, chief executive of BPAT and Hamilton-based Pacific, describes the opening of the new plant as “a game-changer” for the 67-year-old aircraft producer. “This is the biggest development in our history and critically important, as we see demand for the P-750 and the new E-350 increase,” he says.


Pacific Aerospace

The high-wing, utility E-350 programme was acquired by Pacific earlier this year from Canada’s Found Aircraft. The tooling was shipped to Hamilton in September and Pacific plans to relaunch production of the five-seat type in the first half of 2017. A final assembly line will eventually be built in Changzhou.

Camp describes the Chinese facility as “the world’s newest general aviation plant”. He adds: “What’s more, we’ve got plenty of space to expand to meet the growing demand from the Chinese market.”


Pacific Aerospace

The initial primary focus of the new plant will be assembly of aircraft from kits provided by Pacific from Hamilton and its existing supply base, says Camp. It will also manufacture components and offer custom painting services.

BPAT eventually plans to provide maintenance and servicing for other general aviation aircraft manufacturers at the Changzhou site and provide pilot and engineering training for the Chinese market.

Source: Flight International