China Certifies Heavy-Lift Avic AC313

 - February 7, 2012, 2:15 AM

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) certified the country’s “new” home-grown heavy-lift helicopter on January 9. Built at state-owned Avic, the AC313 tips the scales at 27,600 pounds, can carry up to 27 people and has a maximum ferry range of 485 nm and a service ceiling near 28,000 feet. The AC313 appears to be an outgrowth of the 14,000-pound Chinese Zhi-8. That medium helicopter is based on the 1970s-vintage Aérospatiale SA321 Super Frelon. The AC313 has been updated with modern avionics, a trio of 1,200-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A turboshafts and composite main rotor blades. Avic plans to pursue certification of the AC313 in export markets, including the U.S.