China's MA 700 passenger turboprop aircraft completed stress tests on its wings and fuselage towards the end of 2015.
An Aviation Industries Corporation of China (AVIC) statement released earlier this week, said, "The strength test of the MA 700 wing and fuselage combination is a large comprehensive test. The test mainly conducts an overall study on the force transmission characteristics of the main load bearing structure of the MA700 wing and fuselage."
China daily newspaper report last August noted that AVIC had signed contracts for 185 MA-700s from 11 domestic and foreign buyers.
"We plan to use the MA-700 series to take at least one-third of the global market for turboprop airliners within 10 years of deliveries starting," said Dong Jianhong, chief designer of the airliner was quoted as saying by the news daily.
"Compared with its competitors, the MA-700 has better operational economy, a more comfortable cabin environment as well as a number of greener design elements," Dong said, noting the aircraft will have the most advanced flight control system, known as fly-by-wire technology, which will be the first time it has been used on a turboprop aircraft.
The MA-700's major rivals in the international market will be the European ATR 72 series and the Bombardier Q400 series from Canada.
AVIC estimates that the global aviation market will need at least 2,900 turboprop regional airliners in the next 20 years, of which China will need nearly 350.
According to an August last year report by Air Transport World online, AVIC VP Geng Ruguang said, the MA700 will be off the final assembly line and will launch its inaugural flight in 2017. It is scheduled to get an airworthiness certificate and be delivered to its first customer in 2019. The MA700 is the stretched version of the 60-seat MA600, which entered the market in 2013.