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The Avicopter AC313 is a three-engine, 13.8-ton civil transport helicopter developed from the Z-8 military helicopter, itself a 1980s derivative of the Aerospatiale SA321 Super Frelon. The AC313, which is principally designed for civilian use, was co-developed by the China Aviation Industrial Helicopter Company and AVIC Changhe (both subsidiaries of AVIC).

The AC313 can carry 27 passengers or 15 wounded people. It has a maximum range of 900km (559 miles). It was designed for a variety of uses, including search and rescue, fighting forest fires, and assisting in fighting fires in cities. The AC313, designed in line with airworthiness regulations and was made in less than a year, reaches the standard of third-generation helicopters. Powered by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A turboshafts, it is the largest helicopter developed in China to date. The AC313 makes extensive use of composite materials- roughly 50 percent by volume - and is equipped with a modern integrated avionics system.

According to some sources, AC313 means: "AC" is the China Aviation Industry Helicopters (Avicopter) the abbreviation, "3" represents the traditional Chinese culture in the "myriad things", "1" refers to the technical level of the helicopter, the last "3" indicates the number of turbines. But other sources stated that it is worth noting that AC313 "13-ton" and M-26 "20 tons" are not a direct comparison. The AC313 "13-ton" refers to the gross take off weight, the M-26 gross take off weight is 55-tons, and M-26 "20 tons" refers to the payload.

AC313 is the first aircraft in full accordance with airworthiness regulations world-wide for the development of large transport helicopters, filling a gap blank in the production of large civil helicopters in China. It has a maximum altitude of 6000 meters, 4,500 meters in elevation of the airport for take off and landing. The effective volume of 23.5 m3 cabin, high 1.83 meters, in which ordinary people can walk upright. Full internL fuel provides a maximum range of 900 kilometers, carrying three external tanks, the transition range may be increased to more than 1,400 km.

The helicopter uses the latest mature and advanced technologies and is independently developed in accordance with international airworthiness standards and certification procedures. It is equipped with advanced turbo-shafts, a high-power drive system, a ball-bearing composite rotor system and an integrated avionics system. It features a large cabin capacity, strong carrying and hovering ability, high adaptability in a wide range of situations after modification and considerable maximum range. These factors make the AC313 qualified to be widely used in many fields, such as search and rescue, forest firefighting, urban fire protection, hanging tasks, and passenger and freight transport. In addition, the structure and system security of the AC313 are completely upgraded, improving its maintainability, economic efficiency, and traveling comfort so that it can still work well under hot or cold temperatures or in complex terrain such as mountain areas and oceans.

The AC313 reflects in many aspects the "born for rescue" design concept. In power, with 3 engines, in a case of engine failure may continue to fly the case of engine failure in two under the nearest land; transportation capacity, AC313 can carry 27 passengers or one-time delivery of 15 wounded ; ability to adapt to the environment, in strict accordance with the anti-salt spray (the surface of various materials by electroplating, spraying, anti-corrosion treated, salt spray can tested for corrosion resistance), anti-heat, anti-fungal standard design, in the ocean climate conditions and other harsh environments can also be smooth to fly unhindered.

The AC313 tail rotor is typical of single rotor helicopters, side-by-side double drive configurations, equipped with three turbo-shaft engines, three point and non-retractable landing gear, maximum takeoff weight of 13.8 t, suitable for marine use under harsh climatic conditions and other complex environments. General site take off and landing can be achieved, for executive officers, material transport and search and rescue, emergency and disaster relief missions. The rotor system uses advanced composite blade and titanium ball-flexible main hub. The avionics system uses the internationally accepted 429 data bus, enabling integrated digital display and control. Machine performance reaches the international level of third-generation helicopters.

Breakthroughs in key technologies include: drive systems meet the 30-minute "dry run" safety requirements; meets crashworthiness and fuel system and body structure for lightning safety requirements; driver and passenger seat through the dynamic security testing for Crashworthiness; body construction, control system and rotor systems meet bird collision safety requirements; meets lightning airborne equipment and high-strength design requirements for radiation protection; cockpit layout meets occupant emergency evacuation safety requirements; rotors and composite structures to meet fatigue assessment of damage tolerance requests; rotor breakdown protection design of mechanical systems meet the high requirements.

The AC313 helicopter composite ball flexible full-authority digital electronic regulation of rotor systems, engine control, integrated large composite structures, avionics systems, digital design and manufacturing, and the most recent airworthiness safety standards for signs, achieving overall skill level of large transport helicopter in China from second to third generation leap. Due to maintenance-oriented detail design, reliability design and security of life design, life cycle economics AC313 model has made considerable progress in comparison with the past.

AC313 there are seven main characteristics:

  1. High safety. Equipped with three engines, in the case of an engine failure can continue to fly, in the case of failure of two engines to the nearest landing, significantly increases the crew's survival probability.
  2. Good performance. In strict accordance with defending against salt fog, humidity, mold-proof standard design, suitable for marine weather conditions and other adverse environment.
  3. A large space. Cabin volume 23.5 m, 1.83 metres high, in which ordinary Chinese can walk upright. Fitted with comfortable air seats and interiors, if necessary, can be converted into VIP Business Jet.
  4. Carrying capacity. When used for goods transport, tank loading of up to 4 tons, or external lift 5-ton. When used for personnel transport, and can contain a maximum crew of 27, or delivery of 15 stretcher and medical staff and working table. Inside optional manual or electric winch, tethered devices on the floor, to make handling easier and secure cargo.
  5. Length of voyage. Fuel tank has maximum range in 900 km, when carrying three redeployment tank, ferry range can be increased to more than 1400 kilometers.
  6. High maneuverability. Control system design skillfully, total distance and the longitudinal and lateral control linkage, complemented by four-axis autopilot, the operation load, good flying qualities.
  7. Performance. -40~+50 temperature range normal use, maximum altitude of 6,000 metres, can take off and land at the airport at an altitude of 4,500 meters.

The AC313 optimized aerodynamic shape of the body, and configure advanced helicopter rotor blade airfoils, rotor hover efficiency high, the tail rotor strong side wind resistance, broke China's flight performance bottleneck for large transport helicopter technology, flying at high altitude, and can better meet complex areas such as mountain on the demanding requirements of helicopter flight performance. After the machine completes test flight, the overall performance has reached the advanced level in the world today. Using advanced turbo-shaft engine transmission system, ball, power transfer capacity flexible composite rotor system and the integrated avionics system, improved serviceability and comfort, technology upgrades, such as infrastructure, system security. This is determined by the independent research and development of large civil aircraft in China, looking at their overall performance, ranks among the world's advanced level of the helicopter.

Engine research and development is one of the core technology developed for the helicopter. Key model helicopter turboshaft engines developing breakthrough in China, China aviation industry first developed indirect heating in the combustion chamber, achieve the shift from direct to indirect heating heating heating, the frequency oil supply system, patented afterburning heating device separately. Currently assembled helicopter turboshaft engines are the country's first fully independent research, with full independent intellectual property rights of key turbo-shaft engine combustion chamber.

China's first domestic-made large civil helicopter completed its test flight March 18, 2010 in east China's Jiangxi Province. The AC313 helicopter took to the sky at Lumeng Airport in Jingdezhen City at 9:40 a.m. and landed at 10:05 a.m. AVIC 1 International Leasing Company and China Flying Dragon Special Aviation Company signed contracts to purchase five AC313 copters following the test flight.

As of 2010 Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) was preparing proposals, in partnership with existing partner US aviation services group US Aerospace (USAE), to bid AVIC''s 13-ton AC-313 on the US Navy''s VXX helicopter program which was revived in February 2010 after being cancelled in 2009 because of cost overruns. The partnership planned to bid medium-lift transport helicopter. If USAE-AVIC bid for the contract, it was likely to be up against the AgustaWestland AW101 and the Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopters. The VXX program is worth about US$6 billion, as the US Navy was expected to procure more than 20 helicopters to replace the existing Sikorsky VH-3 and VH-60 helicopters from around 2017.

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Page last modified: 02-06-2022 15:35:27 ZULU