Avicopter AC352, China's first 7-tonne civil helicopter, made its first flight in Harbin on Tuesday morning, marking a new development in the nation's helicopter industry.
The AC352, also known as the Chinese version of the jointly developed Eurocopter EC175, was developed by France's Airbus Helicopters and China's Avicopter.
It is a multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter with a 7.5-tonne maximum take-off weight, and is capable of carrying up to 16 passengers, the Chinese airframer said.
Lu Weijian, chief designer of the AC352, said the helicopter can be used in fields including offshore transportation, search and rescue, law enforcement, general transport and medical assistance.
After the maiden flight, the new helicopter is expected to be delivered to its launch customers in 2018.
At present, Avicopter has developed a series of AC civil helicopters in a relatively complete pedigree, including the one-tonne AC310 helicopter, the two-tonne AC311 helicopter, the four-tonne AC312 helicopter, the 7-tonne AC352 helicopter and 13-tonne AC313 helicopter.
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