Friday, November 24, 2017

Testing helicopters, manned and unmanned, armed and unarmed on the Tibetan Plateau

First one mentioned in the news is the AV500W, an armed unmanned helicopter, developed for border patrol and light attack operations at altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level (note the 2 air to surface missiles in red)

China's unmanned helicopters pass high-plateau testing
    China Daily
    Li Jiayao

The AV500W conducts firing tests at an altitude of 4,300 meters in Qinghai province on Nov 18, 2017.

NANCHANG -- Three unmanned helicopters made test flights recently on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, authorities said Thursday. The AV500W conducted firing tests at an altitude of 4,300 meters in Qinghai province on Nov 18, according to Jiangxi provincial office of science, technology and industry for national defence.

At 4,600 meters above sea level, on Nov 9, XM20 multi-rotor drone took off and landed with a full payload.

The AV500 climbed to an altitude of 5,006 meters during tests on Oct 31, the maximum achieved by a domestically-made unmanned helicopter.

The three have applications in counter-terrorism, drug policing, border patrols, meteorology and mapping.

The aircraft were developed by a helicopter research and development institute in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, owned by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The institute began work on unmanned helicopters in 2004.

Second helicopter mentioned is the improved civilian variant of the Z-9 light utility chopper, the improved E model of AC312.  9 were exported to Cambodia in 2012

China-developed AC312E helicopter completes plateau tests
    China Daily
    Li Jiayao

Time: 2017-11-23
AC312E, the first light twin-engine civil helicopter developed in China, takes a plateau test flight in Lijiang, Southwest China's Yunnan province, Nov 20, 2017.

AC312E, the first light twin-engine civil helicopter ever developed in China, completed all plateau test flights Tuesday at Ninglang Luguhu Airport, a commercial airport that sits at an altitude of 3,293 meters in Southwest China's Yunnan province, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The helicopter, which made its maiden flight July 2016, was developed by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

It can carry nine passengers, with a maximum takeoff weight of 4.25 metric tons and a maximum payload of 1.7 tons.

On the Tibetan Plateau, where the natural and geographical features are complex, AC312E has reached 6,300 meters above sea level.

In addition, taking off at an airport at an altitude of 4,500 meters and cruising at an altitude of 5,000 meters, the aircraft has reached a range of 500 kilometers with a 500-kilogram payload.

"Installed with world-class Arriel 2H heli-engines, AC312E has shown good performance in the plateau environment. Under the same conditions, it is superior to competitors in effective payload, range and endurance and it has more possibilities in space modification and higher transport efficiency," Li Shengwei, deputy chief designer of the aircraft, said.

To meet individual client demands, the helicopter can be expanded to four specialist models for emergency medical services, search and rescue, business transport and law enforcement.

Last November, the first order for the AC312E came from the China Aero Geophysical Survey and Remote Sensing Center.

The Tibet Development and Investment Group signed an intention agreement to buy four AC312E helicopters this September.

Gu Haicheng, vice-general manager of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, told CZTV website that the AC312E is expected to get an airworthiness certificate and be put on the market in 2018.

Rabi Sankar Bosu, secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, said China's helicopter industry has been on a steady rise over the last decade and the market value is expected to reach 1 trillion yuan ($147.2 billion), according to the China Radio International website.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

12 AC312 (Civilian Z-9) to Cambodia

Marking it the single largest PRC helicopter export to date. 







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