Chinese MA 60 Upgraded to MA 600

July 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

China has embarked on a quest to be the leading maker of turbo-prop regional aircraft in the world. As part of its vision it has just upgraded the Modem Ark (MA) 60 to the MA 600, making use of all the latest technology and materials to ensure that the new aircraft is superior to the old one in every possible way.

The new MA 600 has 60 seats and weighs an astonishing 300 kg less than its predecessor. It also has an improved power system, enhanced energy saving capacity, a better cabin design and brilliant trans-ocean flight capacities. The MA 600 is the brain-child of Chinese aircraft manufacturer Xian Aircraft Industry (Group). Company president, Meng Xiangkai, noted that China should be able to start delivering its own turbo-prop regional jet series within the next five years. The series will feature not only the newly released MA 600, but also the old MA 60 and the MA 700. In doing so, the series will cater well to various aircraft user markets and so their aircraft will receive widespread use.

The MA 60 was China’s first home-grown regional plane. The aircraft is powered by Pratt and Whitney PW-127J turboprop engines and it was designed and produced in line with international standards, making it a perfectly viable option for the global turbo-prop market. It has 50-60 seats and there have already been 122 orders for the aircraft. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 514 km/h and can fly at a height of 2 450 km. Fifteen of these aircraft have already been exported to various African countries, including Zambia and Zimbabwe. The progress on the MA line has been very good thus far and no doubt China will soon reach its goal of becoming the “world’s leading provider of turbo-prop regional aircraft”, as Meng said at the presentation in Xian. Meanwhile research and development of the next aircraft in the line – the 70-seat MA 700, has begun. It likely won’t be long before this aircraft is also off the ground and orders are piling up to have them delivered to the far-flung corners of the globe.

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