A federation of 27 Chinese flying clubs is looking to replace its indigenous aircraft, creating a need for roughly 100 aircraft in the four- 10-seat category.

The clubs join a growing group of schools aiming to buy new aircraft ahead of the anticipated boom in pilot training across China. Cessna claims to have 100-130 prospects for its 172 alone and sister company McCauley Propellers is considering outsourcing some manufacturing work to China, which could politically increase the attraction of Cessna aircraft.

Cessna has sold 13 172s and nine 208s in China and the 206 is the leading candidate to replace Shijiazhuang Y5s at the 27 flying clubs. China Aviation Association vice chairman Jie Zhang says another 26 clubs anticipate replacing their Y5s with 206s by 2008, although no orders have been placed.

The clubs, located in nearly every Chinese province, provide a mix of training, aerial photography, agricultural spraying, sky diving and transport services. Jie says the federation is seeking to buy 172s to replace its locally built primary trainers known as the PT6.

Source: Flight International