Avicopter’s AC352 super-medium, twin-engine helicopter—the Chinese-manufactured variant of Airbus Helicopters H175—has been awarded airworthiness certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Jointly developed by Airbus Helicopters and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic), with Avic's Avicopter responsible for manufacturing the fuselage and certain subassemblies, the H175 is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67Es and was certified in 2014.
The 7.5-ton AC352 can carry up to 16 passengers and has a maximum range of 458 nm. It is powered by the Chinese-built WZ16 engine, a local variant of the Safran Ardiden 3C. Safran said the new-generation 1,500- to 2,000-shp turboshaft features a compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio, low cost of ownership, and 10 percent lower fuel consumption than competitive engines. The new engine was a joint development and production project by Safran Helicopter Engines and the Aero Engine Corporation of China.
The first flight of the AC352 took place in 2016 in Harbin, China. Under Avic's agreement with Airbus, the AC352 can be sold only in China and a small number of countries close to China where Airbus would be unlikely to sell any H175s.