China’s CAAC certified the Avicopter AC311 light-single helicopter last Thursday. In announcing the approval, the Chinese helicopter manufacturer also released more performance numbers, including a 131-knot max cruise speed, four-hour maximum endurance and 335-nm maximum range.
The 4,850-pound-mtow AC311–now dubbed the Air Sprite–can carry six people or 2,000 pounds, and it can be powered by either a Honeywell LTS101-700D-2–which has been used exclusively thus far–or a license-produced Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A.
Avicopter noted that the China Intellectual Property Bureau has accepted its design patent applications. The first prototype flew in 2010 in Tianjin, where Avicopter has its headquarters.
The company also announced last Thursday that it has a backlog of orders for 62 Air Sprites. The orders were placed by Shaanxi Investment & Development, Air China International Aviation Development, China Aviation Technology Import & Export (Catic) and China Feilong General Aviation. These four companies have shareholding links with Avicopter, a Chinese source told AIN.