SAIC LE-500 Little Eagle

TYPE: Four-seat lightplane

PROGRAMME: Mockup displayed at November 2002 Airshow China in Zhuhai; prototype then expected to fly in October 2003, but not reported by early 2004. Service entry targeted for 2005.

DESIGN FEATURES: Said to be a joint development by SAIC, an AVIC I design institute, and China Civil Aviation Flying Academy (CCAFA). Appears outwardly identical to Socata TB20 Trinidad, with which it shares Lycoming IO-560 power plant and similar MTOW and cruising speed, but developed without French company's assistance.

CUSTOMERS: Intention to purchase signified by CCAFA, but may face competition from Western manufacturers to replace existing fleet of French-built Trinidads.

 

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