A new updated version of China's Modern Ark 600 passenger plane has rolled off the assembly lines in Xi'an, capital of the northwestern Shannxi Province.
After three years of research and development, the China-made M-A-600, made its debut on Sunday. The new 56-seat aircraft is an upgrade of the first China-designed regional civil airplane, M-A-600. Comapred with the previous model, the M-A-600 is said to be safer and of higher quality. And the new model is designed to be more passenger-friendly and fuel-efficient.
Turboprop aircraft are generally considered to be 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the equivalent turbojets. The M-A-600's manufacturer, China Aviation Industry Corporation One, or AVIC One, says this fact gives turboprop aircraft a competitive advantage in the era of soaring international oil prices.
So far the older M-A-600 model has received 122 orders, mainly from African and Southeast Asian countries. And AVIC One also expects a bright future for its new model.
Meng Xiangkai said, "We predict we will receive 300 orders for our M-A-600 airplane over the next 10 years. The M-A-600 model has proved to be a good plane in some developing and less-developed nations. We hope the launch of the M-A-600 aircraft will enable us to enter the markets of medium-developed nations, such as Australia and New Zealand. These countries have a big demand for regional aircraft."
Meng Xiangkai reveals airlines in Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines have already expressed interest in the new M-A-600 airplane. The plane is set to begin trials in September and is expected to be ready for commercial use next year.
Liu Ying, Reporter, Xi' an, said, "AVIC One says it has already begun developing the more advanced M-A-700, which will mainly focus on the European and American airplane markets. The company says it will build international research and development centers in Europe and America to produce the new model. With the development of its M-A series, the Chinese airplane manufacturer hopes to gain a larger share of the world aviation market."