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Xian (AVIC) MA60 (Modern Ark 60)

Twin-Engine Turboprop Regional Airliner

Xian (AVIC) MA60 (Modern Ark 60)

Twin-Engine Turboprop Regional Airliner


The Xian MA60 was debuted with launch customer Sichuan Airliners in August of 2000 - over 100 have been produced since with over 300 on order.
National Flag Graphic
YEAR: 2000
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Xian Aircraft Industries Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
OPERATORS: Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; China; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Eritrea; Laos; Nepal; Republic of the Congo; Sri Lanka; Tajikistan; Tonga; Yemen; Zimbabwe

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Xian (AVIC) MA60 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 81.04 feet (24.7 meters)
WIDTH: 95.80 feet (29.2 meters)
HEIGHT: 29.04 feet (8.85 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 30,203 pounds (13,700 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 48,061 pounds (21,800 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PW127J turboprop engines developing 2,750 horsepower each and driving four-bladed propeller units.
SPEED (MAX): 320 miles-per-hour (515 kilometers-per-hour; 278 knots)
RANGE: 994 miles (1,600 kilometers; 864 nautical miles)
CEILING: 25,000 feet (7,620 meters; 4.73 miles)


Series Model Variants
• MA60 ("Modern Ark 60") - Base Series Designation.
• MA60-100
• MA60-MPA "Fearless Albatross" - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patroller variant; model of 2002.
• MA600 - Improved MA60 model.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Xian (AVIC) MA60 (Modern Ark 60) Twin-Engine Turboprop Regional Airliner.  Entry last updated on 10/18/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The regional airliner market can be lucrative for air carriers which, in turn, can provide a boon to aircraft-makers. With the growing popularity of shoulder-winged, turboprop-powered "twins" seen in the last two decades or so, Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation of China (under parent label Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)) has become a player in the global marketplace offering such aircraft types. In August of 2000, its "Modern Ark 60", or "MA60", series was launched through carrier Sichuan Airlines and over 100 units have been delivered to various operators since. Variants of the line have also grown today (2018) to include two major offshoots in the MA600 and MA700 models detailed elsewhere on this site.

The shoulder-winged nature of these aircraft, and those like it, allows for excellent control at low speed and low altitude while also generating a fair amount of lifting to promote equally-excellent Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) qualities. This allows such aircraft to operate from austere / rough runways and reach normally inaccessible areas of a map. Considering China's vast frontier space, it makes sense to develop a powerful, utility performer with these characteristics and the MA60 has proven itself a stepping stone (and modest success) for the Chinese aero-industry with production continuing today (2018) - despite over a dozen accidents involving the type.

Origins of the MA60 place it as a further development of the earlier Xian Y7 (specifically the "Y7-200A") of similar form and function and this aircraft was developed from experience in operating / maintaining the Soviet Antonov An-24 and An-26 airliner / transport models (these also being of shoulder-winged, twin-engined design). The Chinese were able to secure local production licensing of the aircraft while also importing the aircraft for local operation - in turn presenting Chinese engineers with unfettered access to what was, for its time, first-world technology in the East. While only 103 of the Y-7 turboprops were made this design was nonetheless instrumental in the offerings by Xian/AVIC today.

The MA60 utilizes a conventional shape as turboprop airliners go: its flight deck (with side-by-side seating for two) is positioned just behind and above a short nosecone for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The fuselage is tubular as expected and dotted with rows of windows along each side. There is seating for about sixty passengers. The mainplanes are high along the fuselage sides and hold the underslung engine nacelles (one engine to a wing) as well as the twin-wheeled main landing gear legs. The tail unit is traditional with a single, large-area vertical fin and low-mounted horizontal planes. At the front, under the nose section, is a twin-wheeled nose leg.

Dimensions include a running length of 81 feet, a wingspan of 95.9 feet and a height of 29 feet. Empty weight is 30,200lb while the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaches 48,050lb. Power is from 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PW127J series turboprop engines offering up to 2,750 horsepower each. Maximum speed can reach 320 miles per hour with cruising done closer to 270mph. Range is nearly 1,000 miles and the aircraft's service ceiling is listed at 25,000 feet.

A first-flight in prototype form of the MA60 was recorded on February 25th, 2000 and production began that same year. Type certification was achieved in June of 2000 but the aircraft has only been certified to fly in Western airspaces like that of Europe or the United States.

By 2006, the series had achieved nearly 100 ordered aircraft and, today (2018), over 310 are still on the books for manufacture with various operators around the globe. This list includes Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, the Democratic Republic of the Bolivia, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Republic of the Congo, Tajikistan, Tonga, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. China is the largest operator of the series with twenty-four examples in service and a further twenty-nine awaiting manufacture and delivery. Some operators utilize the multi-role aircraft at the military level as is the case with Bolivia, Cambodia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Laos, and Zambia.

The MA60 includes the MA60-100, MA60-MPA, the MA50, MA60H-500 and the aforementioned MA600 (detailed elsewhere on this site). The MA60-100 has seen a reduction in operating weight to better perform while the MA60-MPA "Fearless Albatross" is a proposed military-minded maritime patroller form. The MA40 has seating for about forty passengers and the MA60H-500 is a militarized transport model complete with rear-fitted loading/unloading cargo door.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (320mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Xian (AVIC) MA60's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (110)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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