MD Helicopters (MDHI) has handed over a single-engine MD600N to Guangdong General Aviation Company (GGAC), marking its first helicopter sale to the People's Republic of China. The milestone comes less than two months after the MD600N received type approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The MD600N will be deployed by Zhuhai Sanzai Airport-based GGAC for air medical, police and general charter missions in the Pearl River Delta region of China. MDHI has been nurturing the Chinese market for some time, as well as a number of other emerging markets including Russia and Latin America.

Henk Shaeken, chairman and chief executive of the Mesa, California-based manufacturer says: "We view China as an important emerging market with excellent potential for the future." He adds MDHI is "actively pursuing" type validation of its other models - the single-engine MD500 line and the twin-engine Explorer.

Based on sales expectations in current and emerging markets, the RDM Holdings subsidiary plans to double helicopter production by 2002 from 50 to 100 aircraft a year. The first Indian-based Explorer will be handed over to Tata Group's Mumbai-based operation in the "next few weeks" to join its fleet of Notar-equipped helicopters, including the MD500N and the MD600N. The aircraft will be used for executive transport.

Source: Flight International