CANADIAN AEROSPACE Group (CAG) has agreed to become the Western completion centre for China's Harbin Y-12 twin-turboprop 19-seat aircraft.

A contract for two aircraft from an Alaskan operator is close to being finalised, says CAG, and the Ìrst airframe is almost complete at Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing.

CAG says that its North Bay, Ontario, site will become the only Y-12 completion centre outside China. The Y-12 IV, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6As, received US certification in 1995 and CAG plans to install Western instrumentation, interiors, wheels and brakes before delivery.

The deal covers 400 aircraft. Renamed the Twin Panda, the Y-12 will be marketed as a replacement for the de Havilland Twin Otter, with a price of "under $3 million".

CAG expects to receive the first aircraft by July, with delivery to the customer by the end of this year, after supplemental type-certification of Western equipment installed during completion.

Source: Flight International