Chinese Civil Helo’s Turboshaft Engine Makes First Run

 - December 5, 2013, 3:30 PM

Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca announced that the Ardiden 3C/WZ16, which was jointly developed with China’s Avic Engine, made its first run at the French firm’s test facility in Bordes in southwest France. The successful ground test confirmed the turboshaft engine’s aeromechanical behavior and performance, according to Turbomeca.

Some components of the new Ardiden derivative, the development of which is being conducted on a 50-50 basis, had gone through preliminary testing. Certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China is expected in September 2015. The Ardiden 3C, understood to have a power close to 1,800 shp, features a modular design and a dual-channel Fadec.

The engine is expected to power the Avicopter AC352 medium-twin helicopter, the Chinese counterpart of the Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered Eurocopter EC175. The two airframers have shared the program on a 50-50 basis, too, with Avicopter responsible for the fuselage, among other subassemblies. However, the certification efforts, customer support networks and marketing areas are distinct. Turbomeca would not confirm whether the Ardiden 3C will power the first AC352 prototype.