MA60 is a twin-engine passenger airliner designed and manufactured by Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAIC) of China for short and domestic air routes. It is an extended version of the Y7-200A jetliner. The maiden flight of the aircraft took place in February 2000.

The MA60 was certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in June 2000. It entered service with Sichuan Airlines in August 2000. It was accredited with the Indonesian Air Transport Directorate General (IATDG) type certification in 2006.

Variation models of the Chinese aircraft

Five variants of the MA60 exist, including the MA60-100, MA60-MPA Fearless Albatross, MA40, MA60H-500 and Xian MA600.

The MA60-100 is an advanced version with less weight and meliorated performance. The MA60-MPA Fearless Albatross is a maritime patrol and anti-surface warfare model. The variant was displayed at the Airshow China 2002.

The MA40, a 40-seater aircraft, was unveiled in 2002. The MA60H-500 is a military freighter variation on the MA60.

Orders and deliveries for the twin-engine passenger airliner

Customer orders for the MA60 include: YingAn Airlines (ten), Zest Airways (ten), CDS Regional Express (four), Cameroon International Air Transport (three), Air Burundi (two) and Air Congo International (one). Military customers include the Ecuadorian Air Force (four), Ghana Air Force (two), Sri Lankan Air Force (two), Zambian Air Force (two) and Bolivian Air Force (two).

XAIC had received 250 MA60 orders from various customers worldwide by October 2011.

Design, flight deck and cabin of the MA60

"The MA60 was certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in June 2000."

The MA60 was designed for passenger and freight transport, maritime patrols, medical evacuation and paratroop dropping operations.

The de-icing system enables the aircraft to fly under complicated icing conditions. The aircraft was designed to take-off and land on unprepared airstrips, grass and sandstone runways.

The MA60 flight deck accommodates a pilot and a co-pilot. The cabin is 10.8m long, 2.7m wide and 1.9m high, and can seat up to 60 passengers in four-seat configuration.

An air conditioning system regulates the air flow inside the cabin and maintains a soothing temperature.

Avionics systems on-board Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation’s aircraft

The MA60 is incorporated with a Pro Line 21 avionics suite supplied by Rockwell Collins. The avionics package includes an FMS-3000 flight management system, communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) radio sensors, AHS-3000 attitude heading reference system and TWR-80 weather radar.

Rockwell Collins was contracted by XAIC in March 2003 to supply the Pro Line 21 avionics suite for integration in the MA60 airliner.

The flight deck is equipped with 10×8-inch high resolution liquid crystal primary and multifunctional flight displays. It houses an EFIS-84 electronic flight instrumentation systems, EICAS-4000 engine indication and crew alerting system, automatic flight control system, central warning system, dual air data system and dual navigation attitude system.

Engines and landing gear of the Xian MA60 turboprop airliner

The MA60 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprop engines rated at 2,051kW of output power each.

"Five variants of the MA60 exist, including the MA60-100, MA60-MPA Fearless Albatross, MA40, MA60H-500 and Xian MA600."

It also features two Hamilton Sundstrand’s four-bladed composite propellers which can rotate at a constant speed of 1,900rpm.

The engine is equipped with two-stage centrifugal compressors, a reverse flow combustor, single-stage low pressure and high pressure turbines, a two-stage power turbine, an off-set diminution gearbox and electronic engine control system.

The engine is 2.1m long, 0.6m wide and 0.8m high.

The MA60 is fitted with a tricycle type retractable landing gear comprising two main gears, a single steerable nose gear, two disc brakes and tubeless low-pressure detonation proof tyres.

Performance and speeds achieved by XAIC’s aircraft

The MA60 can fly at a maximum speed of 514km/h. The cruise speed is 430km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 1,600km and 7,620m respectively.