JINAN, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Sino-Austrian joint venture in east China is to step up production of the DA-40 light aircraft in order to meet growing demand for training and private aircraft.
BinAo Aircraft Industries Co. Ltd. has received total orders for 200 DA-40s, each costing about 180,000 U.S. dollars, mostly from pilot training schools, said BinAo manager Li Songlin.
The joint venture was established in April last year by Austria''s Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH and Dagao General Aviation in Zhanhua City, Shandong Province.
It has an annual production capacity of 500 aircraft, equal to the total number of of private aircraft in China.
Diamond''s DA-40 is a four-seater aircraft suitable for pilot training or personal transport. It can cruise at 200 kilometers per hour on a single engine.
The first Diamond aircraft rolled off the production line in October last year and the company has produced 16 to date.
"All DA-40 aircraft will be produced in Shandong in a few years," said Christian Dries, chief executive officer of Diamond Aircraft, adding the move would help meet demand for pilot training and personal transport in China and southeast Asia.
The company has estimated that China''s demand for private aircraft would exceed 1,000 a year in five to ten years.
Most aircraft parts were purchased from abroad, but as BinAo improved its technological capacity, more composite materials and parts would be produced in Shandong, said Cai Guohua, party secretary of Zhanhua county.
"Mass production will boost the development of China''s general aviation industry and the development of related industries like composite materials, electronics and communications," said Cai.