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Safran Helicopter Engines and Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) have announced the issue of the type certificate for the WZ16 turboshaft from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Installed in the AVIC AC352 helicopter, the WZ16 is the first jointly-developed aero engine to be entirely certified by Chinese authorities. Also known as the Ardiden 3C, the WZ16 has been jointly developed and built by Safran Helicopter Engines, with Harbin Dongan Engine and Hunan Aerospace Propulsion Research Institute (HAPRI), both parts of the AECC consortium. The Ardiden 3C was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in April 2018.
“Certification from Chinese authorities marks a major milestone for Safran Helicopter Engines and AECC,” said Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopter Engines executive vice president of programs. “It confirms that the WZ16 is now ready to operate in accordance with world-class Chinese safety and performance standards, thanks to an intensive maturation plan conducted by our partners. It is also a historic moment for the Chinese aerospace industry as it is the first-ever jointly-developed aero engine to be entirely CAAC certified, and a major step toward AC352 entry-into-service.”
Harbin Dongan Engine, the type certificate holder, said, “The type certificate from CAAC is a further step towards the commercial success of the WZ16. It is thanks to the close cooperation of AECC, Harbin Dongan Engine, HAPRI and Safran Helicopter Engines, as well as to the strong support of CAAC. In the future, we will not only expand our engine portfolio but work hand-in-hand with Safran Helicopter Engines, to provide continuous airworthiness and after-sales service of the WZ16, ensuring smooth operation and world-class after-sales service for our clients. Thus, they can buy it confidently and use it safely.”
The WZ16/Ardiden 3C is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700- to 2,000-shaft-horsepower range. The Ardiden 3 family has completed over 10,000 hours of tests, confirming high levels of design maturity and competitive operating and maintenance costs. It features a remarkably compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and low cost of ownership. It also delivers at least 10 percent better fuel consumption than engines operating in the same power range.
The WZ16 flight test campaign started in December 2016 with the Avic AC352’s maiden flight.