China's Biggest Ever Helicopter, AC313A Flies for the First Time

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:39 PM, May 17, 2022
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China's Biggest Ever Helicopter, AC313A Flies for the First Time
AC313A helicopter

China's biggest ever helicopter, the AC313A, made its maiden flight on Tuesday, allowing the country to enter into the big league of large helicopter manufacturing nations such as Russia and the United States.
The helicopter took off at 8:55 am and landing at 9:17 am at the Lümeng Airport in Jingdezhen, East China's Jiangxi Province. With this, the first flight of the AC313A went smoothly, Global Times reported learning from sources in the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), the manufacturer of the aircraft.
The AC313A will make further test flights, and it is expected to receive an airworthiness certificate during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) before being delivered to users, AVIC said.
As a 13 ton-class multipurpose large helicopter developed based on the AC313 for civilian purposes, the AC313A is equipped with a new type of engine with a greater drive power, longer lifespan and better reliability. It has also received upgrades in mechatronics, avionics, flight control and steering systems, and it now also has a health and usage monitoring system, as well as an anti-icing device for rotor blades.
The redesigned widebody fuselage enables the helicopter to have a larger internal space. The AC313A switched to use the world's most powerful turboshaft engines, as well as new reducers, a tilted tail rotor, improved rotor and control systems, and a widebody structure, said Liu Wenqi, the chief designer of the helicopter.
To fully ensure the safety of the first flight, the AC313A had completed a 50-hour iron bird endurance test, Liu said. An iron bird is a ground-based device to test an aircraft's functions.
The avionics system of the AC313A received the first domestically developed flight management system, which enhanced the aircraft's area navigation system, improved system safety and significantly lowered the workload for the flight crew, said Cao Xi, leader of the system's development.
With a maximum takeoff weight of 13.8 tons with external loads and capable of carrying 28 passengers, the AC313A is designed to reduce the weaknesses in China's arsenal of emergency rescue. By having equipment like search lights, fire buckets, electric winches and loudspeakers, the helicopter excels at missions like fighting fires and search and rescue.

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