AVIC unveiled a mockup of its AC3X2 on the eve of Airshow China 2014. AVIC Photo
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has officially unveiled a mockup of the AC3X2, its new light twin-engine helicopter for the civil market.
The sleek, three-tonne-class helicopter was revealed on Nov. 10, kicking off the week-long Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China. A “historic moment,” according to AVIC, the unveiling ceremony marked the first time the AC3X2 mockup has been presented to the general public.
The AC3X2 will reportedly be able to seat up to 10 people, more than other aircraft in its weight class. AVIC Photo
AVIC describes the AC3X2 as an innovative design representing a “transformational development of China’s helicopter industry,” with appeal for both domestic and international customers. The helicopter will reportedly be able to seat up to 10 people, and AVIC is touting the AC3X2’s spacious cabin, low cost, and “excellent high-altitude performance characteristics” as ideal for a wide variety of missions, including emergency medical services, search and rescue, law enforcement, and general aviation. According to AVIC, the aircraft will be easily customizable to satisfy operators’ varying needs.
The AC3X2 occupies a place in AVIC’s civil product range between the single-engine, two-tonne-class AC311, which is modeled on the Airbus Helicopters EC130; and the twin-engine, four-tonne AC312, a civil version of the Z-9, which is itself a licensed variant of the Airbus Helicopters AS365. Other helicopters in AVIC’s civil product range include the twin-engine, seven-tonne AC352, a variant of the EC175 that is being developed jointly with Airbus Helicopters; and the three-engine, 13-tonne AC313, derived from the Z-8, which is based on the SA321 Super Frelon.