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July 2008 edition

Chinese aircraft-maker has high hopes for turboprop future

Production of China's MA 600 turboprop is expected to average between 13 and 15 aircraft per year, with up to half the orders coming from Chinese airlines, aircraft maker Xi'an Aircraft International Corp has said.

The prototype 60-seat Xinzhou 600, or Modern Ark 600, slid off the production line in June, marking another step closer to China becoming a dominant player in the aircraft manufacturing industry.

The aircraft is due to take its maiden flight in the next few months, with mass production planned for late next year. The company hopes to market the aircraft at around $15 million compared with other models currently priced at $18-$20 million. It is also expected to burn 40 per cent less fuel than equivalent turbofan aircraft. Orders for propeller-driven aeroplanes are increasing as....

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