Indian business conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra is set to launch its first indigenously built aircraft priced 20 percent lower than similar aircraft sold by the market leader, Cessna.

Mahindra plans to release the aircraft for sale before March and take the aircraft on its maiden flight possibly next month, said a Business Standard report on Saturday.

“We would fly our first indigenously-built aircraft in Q4 (Jan-Mar 2011). It should be about 20 per cent cheaper than a Cessna,” the report said quoting Hemant Luthra, president, Mahindra Systech.

Stationaire aircraft, the cheapest model from Cessna, under the six-seater category powered with turboprop-engine is priced at $533,400, according to the company website.

Mahindra Aerospace is developing the small plane with five-seating capacity with turboprop engines particularly for the Indian market.

The small aircraft named as NM5-100 is currently being developed by the company in partnership with the Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

The commercial production of the aircraft will start at the company’s manufacturing unit in Bangalore after it gets certified by NAL.

 M&M is also eyeing the certification from Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia, where the demand for this type of aircraft is expected to be good.