China’s self-developed AC313A civil helicopter successfully made its maiden flight on Tuesday (March 17), according to China’s leading aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The 13-ton plane took off from Jingdezhen Airport in Jiangxi Province for the first time, marking an important step in the construction of the national air rescue system.
As state news agency Xinhua reports , development work on the AC313A will now enter the flight test phase after the maiden flight, according to the developer. It is expected to receive certification during the period of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and then enter the market to serve customers.
The AC313A is an important air vehicle model that was specially developed to meet the country’s demands in air rescue missions. The aircraft is expected to help the country strengthen the national system and emergency air rescue capabilities, according to AVIC.
An upgrade of the AC313, the AC313A is a full-size civil helicopter with new engines, an updated transmission system and several other technological optimizations in systems such as avionics and flight control, AVIC reported. This new helicopter model also features the Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) as well as rotor protection and de-icing facilities to improve its performance and safety.
The AC313A can carry up to 28 people, with a maximum take-off weight of 13.8 tons with external loads and can also carry up to five tons of water for firefighting missions. Capable of operating in both visual and instrument flight, the AC313A can perform in various terrains and difficult weather conditions, such as high plateaus and extreme temperatures.
The AC313A can work with multiple installations for emergency rescue missions. This allows it to carry out various missions across the country, such as delivery of supplies, fighting forest and urban fires, lifting large equipment, disaster prevention and relief, medical rescue, law enforcement, maritime rescue and search, transport to oil rig. offshore, among others, according to the developer.