Chinese AC313 receives certification
• The Avicopter AC313 has achieved type certification in China, clearing the way for it to enter the commercial market..
• China's AC313 achieves type certification
The helicopter underwent four years of research and development, and is China's largest domestic civilian helicopter to date, said an Avicopter spokesman.
It foresees a number of missions for the AC313. These include search and rescue, fire fighting, offshore operations, cargo and medical evacuation.
The spokesman added that the AC313 is particularly well suited to high altitude operations. Trial flights reaching an altitude of 8,500m were conducted on the Tibetan Plateau
The aircraft is based on the Harbin Z-8 military helicopter, a derivative of the Aerospatiale SA321 Super Frelon that first flew in 1962.
The AC313 is powered by three Pratt & Whitney PT6B-67A engines, and can seat up to 27 passengers and two crew.
Avicopter has said that it intends to apply for validation in Europe and the US for the AC313.
Source: By Greg Waldron, Singapore - 06 January 2012 - Daily Air Force News (www.flightglobal.com)
Photo: The Avicopter AC313 has been certified by the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC), paving the way for the aircraft’s introduction to operational service with civilian operators in China. (Photo by © Avicopter)
Photo Story: In issuing the certification on 5 January for the 13-tonne helicopter, the authorities said the AC313 meets the regulations in accordance with the requirements of CCAR-29R1, allowing the aircraft to play a role in disaster relief activities, forest fire prevention and offshore operations.
Details released by the Xinhua News Agency said that the AC313 went through a strict airworthiness test regime for certification, including 200 hours of flight testing with a particular emphasis on high altitude performance with flights in Tibet and up to the Everest base camp.
With a full-load of 13 tons the AC313 can fly to an altitude of 3,000 m (9,800 ft). Test flights also concluded that with ten rescue personnel onboard and operating from the Everest base camp the AC313 would be able operate out to 350 km, allowing the aircraft to cover a major part of the 'vast Tibetan Plateau'.
Development of the type has taken four years, and reports suggest that Chinese operators have ordered some 32 AC313s.
The type is powered by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A turboshafts and despite being hailed as an indigenous design, the aircraft bears a strong resemblance to the Aerospatiale Super Frelon, examples of which were exported to China in the late 1970s. (By the Shephard News Team, 05 January 2012- Shephard Group / Rotorhub News(www.shephardmedia.com))