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Taiwan's AIDC develops new trainer aircraft

Taiwan's AIDC's new basic trainer aircraft programme – the design for which is pictured above – aims to compete to replace the RoCAF's Beechcraft T-34C aircraft by the early 2030s. (AIDC)

Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has completed the first stage-design of a new basic trainer aircraft, the company announced on 10 January.

The basic trainer – which AIDC plans to introduce into the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) by 2033 – aims to replace the service's 36 Beechcraft T-34C Turbo-Mentor trainer aircraft, which have been in service since 1984.

AIDC said it is seeking government approval and funding to continue the programme. “If the government can [support] the ... project, AIDC will be able to start the second phase of detailed design, with the first flight in three years and mass production starting in six years,” the company said. It added, “This can meet the [RoCAF's] demand for a basic [trainer] replacement in 2033.”

In a document provided to Janes by AIDC, the company said the new basic trainer will be powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B free-turbine turboprop engine, which has a rating of 1,193 kW (1,600 shp).

According to AIDC, the new basic trainer is being designed with a higher performance objective in mind, compared with existing basic trainers powered by the PT6A-68-series of turboprop engines. These aircraft include the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II, Pilatus PC-21, and Turkish Aerospace (TA) Hürkuş.

AIDC said the new basic trainer will have an envisaged top speed of 325 kt and a range of 856 n miles. The company said this meets the RoCAF's requirement for an engine with 900 shp and a range of 450 n miles.

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