AC352 / Z-15 / EC175
Eurocopter and Avicopter are jointly developing the six-ton EC175 helicopter, also called Z15 in China. The Zhi-15 (Z-15) is a 6,000 kg-class medium utility helicopter jointly developed by Harbin Aviation Industry and Eurocopter. The helicopter aims to fulfil the growing demand for this class of helicopter in both civil and military markets in the next decade.
Harbin and Eurocopter signed a joint development and production agreement worth 6 billion Euros in December 2005. Each party shoulders 50 % of the total investment and workload. Harbin Aircraft Industry has the independent intellectual property rights. The cooperation contract was signed on 5th December 2005 with the completion of the Preliminary Design Review in 2006 followed by the Critical Design Review in 2007. The two companies equally share design and production responsibilities. There will be two assembly lines, one in Harbin, and the other in Marignane, France.
The helicopter was expected to make its first flight in 2009 and become certified in 2012. Avicopter delivered the first airframe structure for the EC175 prototype at the end of last year. The helicopter was expected to launch its maiden flight by the end of 2009. In November 2008 Harbin Aviation Industry Co. (HAIG) successfully delivered the first EC175 airframe structure to Eurocopter at its factory in Harbin/China in the presence of representatives from both companies. This was the 3rd key milestone for the development of this multi-role medium-twin class 16-passenger helicopter.
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