Posted on: 13 July 2014
AVIC Aircraft Xi’an Branch has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Pratt & Whitney Canada for the latter to provide PW150C engines for the new MA 700 turboprop.
The PW150C is a new derivative of the engine which powers the Bombardier Q400. P&WC president John Saabas, reported that there will be performance enhancements in the PW150C as well as somw changes in the structure of the gearbox to handle the increased performance. “The engine will be 5,000 shp flat-rated and there will still be some thermal capacity left,” he added.
Saabas confirmed that the PW150C would not be a full engine from the company’s NGRT (Next Generation Regional Turboprop) programme, but would incorporate “some of the things we’ve learned from the NGRT”. The engine will be assembled in Canada and “will have some components from China”. Saabas expects engine certification by Transport Canada in early 2018.
The engine will have a six-bladed propeller and AVIC is planning to announce the supplier during the air show.
The baseline MA 700 will have 78 seats with a 32 inch pitch. Wan Cheng Kuan, VP AVIC Xi’an Branch and head of the MA 700 programme, expects the demand in China to be 600-800 aircraft over the 20 years after entry into service in 2019.
In the same period, AVIC is also expecting sales in its established turboprop market of Africa, Asia-Pacific and South America of 400-500 units. The company also intends to target Europe with the MA 700.
Pang Zhen, AVIC VP civil aircraft programmes, commented, “This is another significant step in our global strategy. P&WC is a long term partner of AVIC and both the MA-60 and the MA-600 aircraft with PW127J engines have operated in more than 20 countries for more than 270,000 flight hours. The signing of the LOI marks the speeding up of the development programme for the MA 700.”
Commenting on the after-sales support P&WC will offer for the engine, Saabas remarked, “We are pleased with support from our Customer First Centre in Singapore, but we will also look at how we may support the new aircraft and its engines across the Asia-Pacific region.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net