With Sikorsky putting lots of research money into the X2 and it’s follow-up S-97 Raider, and Eurocopter widely broadcasting its X3 concept, it was only a matter of time before China followed suit.
A concept model has been shown for the first time at the Zhuhai Air Show, which opened this morning. The fuselage of this coaxial helicopter bears a strong resemblance to Sikorsky’s X2 and S-97, while the forward thrust propellors on stub wings are closer to the Eurocopter X3.
Shown by Avicopter under the “Avant Courier” name, it is fast becoming clear that China has no intention of following in the aerospace race, and their concept-to-reality time is often a lot shorter than its competitors in the US and Europe. The only point that is currently questioning their development lead is that their new models and concepts still lean a lot on other manufacturers initial ideas. They say “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, but it cannot be long now before China are on level-pegging with the established manufacturers, and soon breaking out into the lead.
Harry Shu – HeliHub.com Beijing correspondent
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