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Aviation manufacturing industry finds opportunity in niche markets

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Vietnam’s aviation manufacturing industry is pursuing niche markets by targeting the tourism sector, Nguyen Duc Cuong, chair of the Vietnam Aerospace Association (VASA), has said.

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Vietnam cannot compete with giant manufacturers like Boeing which have large capital, advanced technologies and hundreds of years of experience in aircraft manufacturing.

Coung believes that penetrating niche markets is a more realistic move for Vietnam’s aviation industry.

Cuong and his co-workers have created a product for the market – a slow-speed controlled aerial transportation system. 

“I have to emphasize that our transportation system doesn’t intend to compete with other flying machines in terms of speed or height. We target a niche market – carrying tourists for sightseeing,” he explained.

Cuong and his co-workers have invented a new flying machine with increased load rate, with a low cost.

As per Cuong’s calculation, it will fly at the height of 300 meters (the height of a 100-storey building), speed of 40 kilometers per hour, and useful load of 800 kilograms (one pilot, six passengers, seven seats, equipment and drinks). The maximum flight duration is 60 minutes. The aircraft can take off vertically and land on beaches or the riverside.

With the total takeoff weight of 2000 kg (the body contains Helium ~ 2000 m3), the balloon is called VUSTA-2000. One ticket is VND500,000 for 15 minute sightseeing.

A travel firm which spends VND5-6 billion to buy the machine and serves passengers at 50 percent of capacity will be able to recover investment capital after several years. 

Manufacturers can also make fat profits because they don’t have to import foreign technologies, while production cost is VND3 million each more than five products are made.

“I can say for sure that this is a new solution, not only in Vietnam, but in the world as well,” Cuong said. 

Bui Ngoc Son, an economist from the Institute for the World Economic and Political Research Institute, said that Vietnam should not cherish an unrealistic dream of developing the aviation manufacturing industry when it still has to import simple products such as air conditioners and refrigerators. 

“Vietnam cannot manufacture simple spare parts, let alone aircraft components,” he said.

MHI Aerospace Vietnam, a subsidiary of Japanese Mitsubishi, now makes the doors of passenger cabins and inboards flaps for Boeing 777.



Source: VietNamNet

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