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China’s AC313A large civil helicopter completes first plateau flight tests

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(Xinhua) 08:46, November 21, 2023

BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — China’s independently-developed AC313A large civil helicopter has successfully conducted the first round of plateau flight tests, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

The AC313A has successfully conducted a series of flight tests at various plateau airports. The move paves the way for the airworthiness flight tests, said the AVIC, the country’s leading aircraft maker.

Its first round of flight tests took place at Anshun Huangguoshu Airport in Guizhou Province, Ninglang Luguhu Airport in Yunnan Province, and Daocheng Yading Airport in Sichuan Province, said the AVIC.

These plateau airports are located at altitudes of around 1,600 meters, 3,300 meters, and 4,400 meters, respectively. Among these, located 4,411 meters above sea level, Daocheng Yading Airport is the highest civil airport in the world.

This round of flight tests verified the AC313A helicopter’s flight performance and quality on plateaus, as well as the adaptability of its major systems, said the AVIC.

The AVIC-developed AC313A is a 13-tonne-class large multi-purpose civil helicopter with single main rotor and tail rotor. It took to the skies for its maiden flight on May 17, 2022.

The most recent iteration of the AC313 helicopter series, the AC313A is a major aerial vehicle specially developed for emergency air rescue missions. It boasts a wider body with new engines, an upgraded transmission system, and multiple other tech-optimization in systems such as the avionics and flight control, according to the AVIC.

It is installed with a health monitoring system, as well as rotor ice protection and de-icing facilities to enhance its performance and safety.

With upgraded performance, life span and maintainability, it could support multiple missions in all-terrain and all-weather environments across China.

During this round of plateaus flight tests, the AC313A was put through various tests, such as ground tests for engines, hovering, and taking off at the maximum take-off weight of 13 tonnes.

This flight-test round brings the new civil helicopter model one step closer to airworthiness certification and will be a boon to market confidence, said the developer.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)

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