China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I) will sign an agreement with Ukraine's Antonov Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex at the end of October to cooperate on research and development of the Modem Ark 700 (MA700), a 70-seat turbo propeller regional passenger plane.
Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co, an affiliate with AVIC I, has signed a memorandum with Antonov on the cooperation. The two parties are expected to discuss cooperation mode and details during the 12th Beijing International Aviation Exhibition, September 19-22.
Xi'an Aircraft plans to start production of the MA700 next year, and the plane will make its first flight in six to seven years.
AVIC I expects to obtain certification by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its new civil aircraft in the future, vice general manger Hu Wenming said.
The corporation hopes to receive FAA and EASA certification for its ARJ21 regional jet being assembled in Shanghai, paving the way for the jet's sales in the global market. It will also seek EASA certification for the MA700, according to Hu.
AVIC I's 50-seat MA60, lacking FAA certification, is targeted toward the Asian, African and Latin American markets. But Hu said AVIC I does not plan to obtain FAA certification due to the high cost involved. It has only received orders from Laos, Indonesia and African countries.