AVIC has completed the first centre wing box for the MA700 turboprop airliner, which will form part of the static test aircraft designated 10001.

The event marks the commencement of large-sized component assembly for the programme, says the company.

In addition, AVIC announced that it has developed an automatic riveting and drilling machine for aircraft panels, which will improve production efficiency and aide mass production of the type.

AVIC is targeting to roll-out the first MA700 in mid-2019, with the aircraft set to take its first flight towards the end of the year. The target remains to achieve Chinese certification by 2021, before entering service in 2022. AVIC has said that it also intends to attain western certification for the programme.

The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150C-powered aircraft will have a capacity for up to 86 passengers. The aircraft will use fly-by-wire technology, have a maximum take-off weight of 26.5t and a range of up to 2,700km.

Source: Cirium Dashboard