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AC3X2 / Z-YY - Design
Advanced Heavy Lift AHL 40-ton Helicopter

Advanced Heavy Lift 40-ton HelicopterIf the Sino-Russian heavy-duty helicopter can be developed and delivered on time, it will be the most important and most meaningful helicopter in the history of Chinese helicopter development, which will greatly enhance China's vertical transportation delivery capacity.

A scale model of the 40-ton [total liftoff weight] class heavy helicopter jointly developed by China and Russia was displayed at the Airshow China 2018 on November 7, 2018.

A heavy helicopter can usually be used to airlift heavy cargo and vehicles without the need of an airfield. For military use, a heavy helicopter can transport troops, armored vehicles, artillery and rockets. For civilian use, it can lift heavy engineering vehicles to sites where normal transportation routes could not reach in case of a natural disaster. China will have a complete helicopter family covering from 500-kilogram class to 40-ton class, to satisfy all kinds of needs.

As of 2009 Avicopter was evalulating developing an Advanced Heavy Lift Helicopter, possibly to be built jointly with Russian Helicopters, with a gross weight of 30 tons. According to international standard, heavy-lift helicopters generally refers to a take-off weight of more than 20 tons, a division in line with the definition of military standards. Russia plans to invite a multinational cooperation, including China, in the development and production of the Mi-46 heavy transport helicopters.

In recent years, AVIC has actively conducted international technical cooperation, which included the sixth and seventh framework of aviation technical cooperation with the EU, and the technical cooperation with Russia, etc. In October, 2009, in the testimony of Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, AVIC and Russia Helicopter Stock Company signed the Understanding Memorandum on Jointly Developing Heavy Civil Helicopters, which meant that the cooperation between the two countries in the field of helicopter industry entered a new phase.

Avicopter has said it is also studying building a larger aircraft, the Advanced Heavy Lifter, in cooperation with Russian Helicopters. Russian sources have given the mass as 30 tons. But Avicopter rejects an assumption that the helicopter would be based on the Mil Mi-46 design that has been awaiting full-scale development since the early 1990s. The Mi-46 is not big enough, and the giant 56 ton Mi-26 is too big.

Avicopter believes a 30 ton gross weight can satisfy most requirements. The Sikorsky CH-53 and Boeing CH-47 bracket that weight. The CH-53E Sea Stallion has a maximum takeoff weight of 33,000 kg and a maximum payload of 14,500 kg, while the CH-47 Chinook has a maximum takeoff weight of about 23,000 kg and a maximum payload of 12,000 kg. It can be assumed that a helicopter of such size would be particularly useful to the armed forces.

At the China Helicopter Expo held in Tianjin on 08 September 2015, the China National Aviation Industry Group's domestic heavy-duty helicopter model was officially unveiled. From the pictures returned from the scene, the domestic heavy-duty helicopter adopts the traditional aerodynamic shape design, and the high-tail beam conventional tail rotor layout design of the center-mounted rotor. The overall shape layout is similar to that of the Russian Mi-26 helicopter, but the height of the fuselage Lower, the nose is more streamlined and the cockpit has a wider view.

The machine adopts an integrated hub with a European HTH heavy helicopter style and a 7-leaf composite blade. The tail rotor has a low profile and is closer to the domestic straight-8 helicopter. The overall shape layout is more advanced than the Russian Mi-26 or the US CH-53E and other similar models. It is the Mi-26 modified version recommended by Russia that was strongly recommended to China. The Mi-46 helicopter concept scheme cannot be compared. From the performance data on the description board, the aircraft's maximum takeoff weight reached 38.2 tons, and the performance indicators are very close to the Sikorsky CH-53K Super Stallion helicopter being developed in the United States. . The CH-53K is scheduled to be delivered to the US military in 2018.

The Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL) will similar in its role to the Mi-26 heavy military and transportation helicopter. However, the newly designed helicopter will be more suitable for commercial usage. The helicopter will be lighter than the Mi-26 (38.2 tons against 56 tons of takeoff mass). It will be capable of carrying a payload of nearly 10 tons (in the bay) and up to 15 tons (on the exterior mounting).

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