AC311 Light Civil Helicopter
Chinese state-owned helicopter-maker Avicopter completed the design of its 2-ton civil helicopter, the AC311, and planned to build one in time for China's Zhuhai air show in November 2011. China Aviation Industry's (AVIC) Helicopter Design Institute completed the design work. An AC311 multi-purpose helicopter made its first test flight in Tianjin, north China, Nov. 8, 2010. The first light civilian helicopter developed and manufactured in China made its successful maiden flight in northern port city of Tianjin. The AC311 was due to be certified in November 2011, with deliveries beginning by year-end. It had already secured orders from Chinese customers. The customers are the Guizhou city police force and the Tianjin Binhai police force, each with an order for one AC311. The AC311 helicopter was expected to obtain a type certificate from China's civil aviation authorities in October 2011 and go on the market in 2012.
Near the bottom of Avicopter's type spectrum, the two-ton AC311 helicopter, developed and manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), has a seating capacity of six. Avicopter plans to market the aircraft internationally. Applications for the locally developed helicopter include flight training, policing, communication command, aerial photography, medical aid, power line patrol, forest fire prevention, pest control and other general aviation services. The helicopter is designed for large-scale industrial production and will be competitively priced. It is expected that the market demand for this type of helicopter will reach 500 in the next 10 years.
The aircraft was equipped with a fuel-efficient engine, a durable and flexible composite rotor system, and a highly integrated avionics system. The AC311 is powered by one Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 turboshaft engine. Composite materials are widely used in the rotor head, main blades and tail blades. The main cabin is made of composite materials, but the tail structure is aluminum to keep the price down. The AC311 will be equipped with an advanced avionics system and the cabin will have sound absorption materials. Its technology and performance are close to the international advanced level. In terms of cost, it is about 10 to 15 percent less than similar products from other manufacturers.
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