AC311 “AirPac” certified and 72 orders booked

AC311 “AirPac” certified and 72 orders booked

2-Jul-2012 Source: HeliHub.com

Chinese manufacturer AVIC has reported on the certification of their AC311 light turbine helicopter, and a further 62 sales taking the total announced to 72.  The new orders were all signed last week, and while AVIC has not stated how many each purchaser is taking, they will be spread between the following four customers:-

– China Aviation Industry and Shaanxi Navigation Investment and Development Co Ltd
– Air International Aviation Development Co Ltd
– China Aviation Technology Import & Export Co Ltd
– China Feilong General Aviation Co Ltd

The production delivery is expected this month to Beijing Air Xiang Advertising Co Ltd.  AVIC also used the opportunity to give the AC311 a marketing name – the “AirPac”.

It is powered by the Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A as we reported here – Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A to power the AC311

Certification has been done to the Chinese CCAR-27 local rotorcraft standards, and CCAR-36 noise standards.

The development lifespan of the AC311 is testament to an efficient system in place.  Chief designer Lijia Yun told reporters late last week that advanced 3D digital design software and manufacturing technology has helped speed up the development progress.

– Aug-09 to complete the overall program and preliminary design
– Mar-10 detailed design completed
– Nov-10 first flight at Tianjin
– Nov-10 participate in the eighth Zhuhai International Air Show
– Sep-11 participate in the First China Tianjin International Helicopter Exposition
– Nov-11 “Hot and High” certification tests in Qinghai
– Dec-11 “Mountain” certification tests in Innter Mongolia
– Jun-12 Type certificate issued

AC311 helicopter can take a payload of 900 kg, maximum takeoff weight of 2200 kg, maximum cruise speed of 242 km / h, maximum range of 620 km, the maximum life time of 4 hours.  With these figures it will compete performance-wise with the EC120 and the R66, although we expect the latter to beat both on operating costs by quite some margin

(see Clubhouse talk – comparing the R66 with an EC120)

Harry Shu – HeliHub.com Beijing correspondent

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