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The American Diesel Plane That Could Bring Private Flight to China


Outside the commercial and military realms, aviation is strictly limited, and private citizens who just want to take to the air have few options. That's problematic, since booming growth in the country's airline industry has generated a need for pilots, and it's easier to recruit when you've got a population of men and women who already know how to fly.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the majority of Chinese airspace is controlled by the military, and thus hard to access. Any fix on that front would come from the government (and rumor has it an overhaul is in the works), but a new plane from American-Chinese company Mooney could help address the other problems that are holding back Chinese aviation.

One problem is that airplane fuel is not only in limited supply, it's extremely expensive—about double what it costs in the US. That makes training pilots costly and impractical (many learn to fly outside the country) in a place where flying even with a license is tricky. The Mooney M10, announced at China's Zhuhai Airshow earlier this month, gets around that problem: It's a diesel.

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