GKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract by the Jiangxi Changhe Aviation Industry Co. Ltd to supply the emergency flotation system (EFS) for the Avicopter AC313, which is the largest civilian helicopter ever developed in China.
The new EFS will give the AC313 helicopter increased survivability in the water as the system will provide flotation up to sea state 5 – ie rough seas with waves from 2.5 – 4 meters high. This will expand the mission potential of the helicopter, increasing its applicability for use in over-water missions such as search and rescue, maritime surveillance and oil and gas industry transportation. The EFS will incorporate GKN Aerospace’s new non-explosive emergency inflation technology which will lower system weight, reduce life cycle costs and increase performance reliability.
GKN Aerospace will make first delivery of a prototype EFS in 2014 and will deliver a fully certified system before end -2014.
Phil Swash, CEO – GKN Aerospace Europe and Special Products, comments: “This contract win represents the first ever qualification of an EFS to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) standards and is also a landmark for us as it is GKN Aerospace’s first EFS business in the Chinese market. This win extends our lead in flotation systems with our EFS now equipping most large helicopters available today – helicopters such as the AW101, the S92®, and now the AC313, are all equipped with our proven flotation technology.”
The Avicopter AC313 is a single-rotor aircraft designed to carry 27 passengers, has a reported maximum range of 900 kilometres, a max payload of 13.8 tonnes and three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A engines. It is manufactured almost entirely from titanium and composite materials.
GKN Aerospace is an authority on the specification, design, manufacture and qualification of complete emergency flotation systems, designed to FAR / JAR 27 and 29. The company also continues to develop new materials and fabrication techniques to meet vital requirements for lighter weight equipment with extended performance and reliability – offering improved safety for crew and passengers. Full maintenance support is provided for its proprietary and customer products as well as to the broader market.