Five Manufacturers Proposing 90-Seat Turboprops

By Bradley Perrett
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

The MA700 will have “at least 15%” composite material, which seems to mean that even its wing will be built of aluminum, while South Korean officials say the DRA would have extensive composite content. In stretching the Q400, Bombardier could make considerable structural changes to that mainly aluminum aircraft, depending on where it sees payoffs.

In addition, however well the products fit the market and the development programs are executed, the newcomers will lack the reputation and established customer base of ATR and Bombardier. Avic is ahead of its Asian competitors, since it has been selling the MA60 and MA600, though not to customers that demand certification recognized by Western authorities. Avic will probably also have the advantage of a protected home market. Not only does the Chinese government impose a hefty import tax on regional aircraft, it can also lean on state airlines to buy Avic's products and on state banks to finance them.

The RTA is similarly aimed at the Indian domestic market, where, unlike China, there is no massive high-speed rail system. KAI's domestic market would be tiny but, again, the South Koreans want foreign help.

Proposed 90-Seat Turboprops
MA700RTAATR 90-seaterQ400 stretchDRA
Seating, initial78709090-10072
Seating, stretchAbout 9090N.A.88
Fuselage width, meters (ft.)3.0 (10)*2.8 (9.2)3.4 (11.2)*2.7 (8.9)3.0 (10)*
Fuselage height, meters (ft.)3.0 (10)*3.3 (10.8)3.4 (11.2)*2.7 (8.9)3.0 (10)*
Under-floor cargoYesYesYesNoYes
Max cruise, kph (kt.)650 (351)550 (300)550 (300)*680 (367)**
StatusLaunched. EIS 2018Launch imminent. EIS 2020Ready for launch but under study pending approval.Under study.Under study. Partner sought.
Sources: Manufacturers

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