March 1, 2013 MA700 Approved for Production in 2014
What you haven’t heard of the MA700? Chinese aircraft manufacturer Avic Aviation today approved the MA700 for production starting next year with first flight sometime in 2016. The MA700 is a 70-80 seat turboprop regional commercial airliner designed to compete with the Q400 and ATR-72. Currently this aircraft like other Chinese commercial aircraft has seen limited orders from outside of China. Like the COMAC C919 regional jet and Yun-20 cargo plane unless the Chinese can market the airliner outside of their state owned leasing companies it will not be commercially successful on the world market. Now I have read some reports claiming that the MA700 will be 20% more efficient than existing turboprops. This is a I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it sort of claim, though if true the MA700 will be very marketable to European and American carriers.
China is new to the commercial aviation market. However, the major benefit planned economies have over free-market economies is that the government can keep dumping money into development until results are achieved . While current Chinese offerings are inefficient compared to their western counterparts, that gap will narrow as Avic and COMAC become more experienced in the science and art of commercial aircraft development.
The link to the production storyis in Spanish