Brumby Aircraft has signed a multi-million dollar deal with a Chinese aviation conglomerate that will see Brumby LSAs used in China for primary training.
The deal with AVIC is for a joint venture to produce the Brumby 600 and 610 light sport aircraft in a 10,000 square metre specially-built factory in Fujian Province.
Representatives of both Brumby and AVIC signed the deal at Parliament House in front of the Deputy Premier of NSW Andrew Stoner and local members of parliament earlier this month.
The factory will produce 280 aircraft over the first four years of the 40-year deal, with aircraft completed in China for the local market, and those bound for Australia and New Zealand shipped to Brumby's home in Cowra as components.
Brumby Aircraft's Paul Goard, says the new joint venture has secured the future of Brumby in Cowra, and will free up the factory to expand and start work on the four-seat Aircruiser, as well as assembling the LSAs for the Australia and NZ markets.
"We've been working towards this for some time," he told Australian Flying. "It's a joint venture between Brumby and AVIC. We'll be bringing the aeroplanes back here in modules and having the engines, avionics, interior and custom painting done here in Cowra.
"The expansion will now allow us to deliver aeroplanes in a very short time frame. It takes us 12 months to get a plane out now; we should be able to do it in about eight weeks.
"It's quite a big deal, because only certain planes are going to be allowed to fly in China to start with, and this is a government company. Our plane will be used as a primary flight trainer in China."
For Cowra, it means a larger plant and an increase in staff as it ramps up its research and development as well as producing the Aircruiser, which is not part of the AVIC deal.
Chinese Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) is a Chinese government-owed company that has been expanding for several years to take advantage of the rise of general aviation in China. The company also owns Cirrus Aircraft and Continental Motors, as well as Chinese manufacturers Harbin and Nanchang.