China’s Z15 (AC352) helicopter “Lucky Bird” received its Type Certificate (T/C) from the CAAC on July 26, paving the way for the first deliveries of the type.
The AC352 is an advanced medium-sized multi-purpose helicopter, and is the first domestically produced helicopter to take advantage of the newly revised “Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Rotorcraft. Equipped with a turboshaft engine jointly developed by Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) and Safran Helicopter Engines, the AC352 has a maximum take-off weight of 7.5 tonnes and a maximum range of 850 kilometers. It can carry between 14 to 16 passengers and can be used in search and rescue missions, offshore oil operations, personnel transportation, medical rescue, business charter and other fields. CITIC Offshore Helicopters will be the first operator of the type.
Statistics show that there are only around 1,000 helicopters in China, although there is huge potential for more helicopters to be added to the fleet. It is believed that in the future, China’s civil helicopter market will be fully realized, and domestic-made helicopters will be widely used.
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