PLA Pilot Completes China's First Large Civil Helicopter Test Flight
(Source: China Military; issued April 01, 2017)
Seven years after its first flight in March 2010, AVIC’s AC313 heavy civil helicopter has finally completed its flight test program. It is the ultimate variant of the Aerospatiale Super Frelon helicopter, originally designed in the 1960s. (Tweeter photo)
BEIJING --- Zhang Yunlei and Yuan Luogeng, two top-class test pilots from the PLA Army Aviation Corps, completed the last airworthiness verification item with AC313 helicopter in heavy rain in late March, marking the successful completion of the onboard test flight and airworthiness verification of China’s first homemade large civil helicopter.

In accordance with the requirements of the airworthiness regulations, the test flight for airworthiness verification must be conducted in heavy rain. The helicopter was required to perform taking-off and landing under the condition that the precipitation exceeds 0.7 mm in six minutes, and high-speed traffic pattern flight at the altitudes of 200 to 500 meters.

In order to ensure the safety, a test flight team of the PLA Army Aviation Corps made careful preparations and formulated a contingency plan. The helicopter conducted non-stop flight for one and a half hours in the rain, and the entire test flight was safe and smooth.

The results show that under the weather condition of heavy rain, the AC313 helicopter is able to fly safely with all systems and equipment in the helicopter running fine, and the test pilot has a clear visibility.

The AC313 helicopter is a large-scale civil helicopter independently developed and manufactured by Aviation Industry Corporation of China. The R&D process of this helicopter is in full accordance with the international airworthiness regulations and the overall performance of the helicopter has reached the international level of third generation helicopters. The successful R&D of AC313 helicopter is a milestone in the history of China's large civil helicopter development.

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China's AC313 Heavy-Lift Helicopter Passes all Airworthiness Test
(Source: China Topix; posted March 29, 2017)
China's AC313, its first heavy-lift helicopter for civilian purpose, has successfully passed all airworthiness tests, sources from developers said on Tuesday.

According to Changhe Aircraft Industry Group Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China, the most recent test flight took place in Jingdezhen in east China's Jiangxi Province.

The AC313 helicopter successfully carried out the tests despite heavy rain, with precipitation exceeding 0.03 inch within six minutes. It had to fly at high speed with an altitude of 200 to 500 meters to prove it was airworthy in rain.

"The results were positive - the helicopter's airborne systems and equipment worked normally and the pilot had a clear view," a document from the developer wrote, further confirming that the helicopter has "met all criteria for airworthiness."

The AC313 helicopter made its maiden flight in Jingdezhen City last March 2010 and had completed two test flights on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in 2010 and 2011. It has also received airworthiness certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in January 2012 and completed the T5 evaluation test conducted by the Aircraft Evaluation Group in December 2013, Aerospace Technology reported.

The aircraft is equipped to make emergency rescue operations, respond to forest fires, transport, conduct offshore operations, provide medical aid, and accommodate sightseeing and business trips.

The AC313 is based on an improved design of the Harbin Z-8 military helicopter, which is a derivative of the Aerospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon. The single-rotor helicopter has six main and five tail rotor blades, while the main rotor hub is made of titanium. The AC313 is designed to provide protection against salt fog and humidity.

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