AVIC says that its MA700 turboprop production is still on schedule, despite the Covid-19 outbreak in China.
The Chinese airframer says it restarted production of the MA700 on 10 February, after production was halted for an undisclosed period.
The MA700 final assembly team lead Han Jiawei says that there were some delays due to the virus outbreak, but the team is working hard to make up for lost time.
AVIC adds that work will now focus on ensuring the structural integrity of its first test aircraft. The aircraft’s nacelles, doors and other fuselage parts are also being installed.
The company does not state when the aircraft will be embarking on its first flight, but would only say that 2020 would be “a year of harvest”.
Chinese news reports in January indicate that the turboprop’s first flight will be in late-2020.
To date, the MA700 has 285 orders from 11 operators. The aircraft, to be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150C engines, is suitable for “short distance feeder transportation” of about 800km. The 86-seater has a range of up to 2,700km.