AVIC has formally launched the XIan MA700 programme and expects the turboprop to enter service in 2019.

The new 70-seat turboprop is positioned to best serve medium-sized markets within a 800km (500 mile) range. The aircraft will be able to operate in high temperature, high altitude environments and will be capable of frequent short take-offs and landings. Its fuel consumption, operation and maintenance costs are also expected to be lower than its peers in the same category, AVIC said at a recent press conference in Beijing.

The aircraft will be able to cruise at above 320kt (600km/h) and climb to its cruising altitude within 13 minutes.

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Nice looking aircraft, although it does look remarkably like an ATR-72!