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Y-7-200A / Xinzhou 60 / Modern Ark 60

The Modern Ark 60 is a familiar domestic feeder airliner and a controversial model. In the operation of this model, there are excessive noise and excessive glitches, which greatly affects the operation of the airline. The Modern Ark 60 did not achieve market success, the output is not high. The MA-60 aircraft encountered many problems in landing gear, brakes and control. As of January 2014, at least 26 of the 57 MA-60s exported were disposed of as a result of safety, maintenance or other problems. Since 2007, Indonesian Mobaddi Airlines had purchased a total of 14 new boats-60, but they officially suspended the model in 2013 after experiencing six accidents.

In 2000, Xian Aircraft Company (XAC) launched the MA-60, known as the Xinzhou 60 in China. Developed from the Yun 7-200A, the MA-60 is a 56- to 60-seat turboprop with an extended fuselage, longer range and lighter airframe weight. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney's engines and equipped with Collins avionics. It costs one-third less than comparable Western turboprops. In 2000, the newly formed Shenzhen Financial Leasing Co. signed an agreement with XAC for 60 MA-60s.

Gas turbine engines produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation of Hartford, Connecticut, power the Y-7 200A aircraft produced by Xian Aircraft. According to the requirement of CCAR-25 and FAR-25,XI'AN AIRCRAFT COMPANY has designed and developed a short-medium range aircraft MA60 (Modem Ark 60) that is a twin turbo-prop multi-role aircraft with a commuter services as its primary roles. It has a maximum take-off weight of 21,800kg and a seating capacity of up to 60 passengers in the high density version. With a pressurized cabin, the aircraft possesses the level of comfort comparable to trunk aircraft. The aircraft is well-suited to fulfil a variety of other roles such as executive transport, light package carrier, remote sensing and aerial research services, coast guard, border patrol, air ambulance and other community services, etc. MA60 is a state-of-art design that can be a cost-effective solution in a wide variety of roles. The MA60, powered by Pratt and Whitney PW-127J turboprop engines, is China's first regional aircraft designed and produced in line with international standards. It has a maximum speed of 514 km per hour and a flight range of 2,450 km or four hours.

The model was first tested in 1993 and approved in June 2000 for commuter services. In May 1998 the Y7-200A airworthiness experiment airplane obtained the type certificate which the Chinese airworthiness authority issues, this symbolizes that the domestically produced airplane's development had stepped up a new stair. In January 1999 efforts began to improve the product system to suitable quality, to enhance the airplane comfort primarily, but also so that the domestically produced new generation regional aircraft would be a "high-quality goods project". After the improvement modification, new machine is named as "the MA" 60 (English Modern Ark, abbreviation is officially MA-60). In September, 1999, "the MA" 60 started with the Chang An Airline to be operational.Producers have received 122 orders, of which 15 have been delivered to Africa, with Zimbabwe and Zambia among the buyers.

However, the market prospects for MA-60 are poor. First, there is already intense international competition in the 50-70 seat turboprop market. Strong global market positions are already held by the ATR 42 (produced by Aerospatiale and Alenia), the Dash 8 (produced by Bombardier), and the Saab 2000 as well as the Russian-built An-24 in former Soviet states. A powerful player in this market, Fokker, with the F-50 turbo-prop, went out of business. China has already imported ATR 42s, five of which were in operation by the late 1990s. Almost 600 ATR aircraft had been sold worldwide by 1998, enabling the company to benefit from economies of scale in a way that the Y-7 was unable to do, and the MA-60 is most unlikely to do.

Second, the whole future of turbo-prop feeder planes is in doubt. In the developed countries, competition for small, local feeder aircraft has grown from highspeed trains, a trend that will be accelerated by 11 September 2001. Moreover, there has been a marked shift in airline preference towards jet-engine feeder aircraft. Jet aircraft are preferred for safety, reliability and customer preference. Third, the history of the Y-7 in terms both of its lack of commercial success and question marks about its safety, makes the task of marketing the MA-60 to commercial airlines, that must respond to passenger perceptions and demands, extremely difficult, even within China, let alone internationally.

On October 30, 2014, the 100th aircraft of the domestic MA series was off the assembly line. In late January 2018, the domestically produced Xinzhou 60 aircraft received two Angolan project orders. On April 17, the delivery ceremony for the two-ship 12E aircraft produced in China was held at the Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. This marks the completion of the delivery of two Chinese New Zealand 60 aircraft and four 12E aircraft purchased by the Nepalese government.

It is worth mentioning that in addition to China, the MA 60 is also used by airlines or air forces in Bolivia, Congo (DRC), Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Myanmar, Nepal. Therefore, although the market response is not good, the entire team and this model have accumulated a certain amount of experience in the use of the tropical region, the high mountain region, and the plateau.

The price of the MA 60 is 2/3 of that of similar foreign aircraft, and the direct use cost is 10% to 20% lower than that of similar foreign aircraft. The annual production capacity is 15-20.




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Page last modified: 23-05-2019 18:57:51 ZULU