Chinese rotary-wing specialist Avicopter, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), unveiled a revised model of its Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL) helicopter concept at the 2017 China Helicopter Exposition, which ran from 14 to 17 September in Tianjin.
Compared to the version revealed two years earlier at the same exhibition, the latest model features a revised fuselage that looks similar to that of the unrealised Russian Mil Mi-46 helicopter, which was proposed as the basis for the company’s joint programme with Russian Helicopters.
Information revealed at the show indicates that the AHL helicopter will have a maximum weight of 38.27 tons, an internal payload of 10 tons, an external payload of 15 tons, a cruising speed of 270 km/h and a maximum range of 800 km. Media reports have also stated that the platform will be powered by the Ukrainian Motor Sich JSC/Ivchenko-Progress AI-136T turboshaft engine.
Following talks with Avicopter, Russian Helicopters announced on 15 September that the two companies had finalised the technical parameters of their proposed joint programme, with Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky stating that the companies are on track to sign a contract by the end of 2017.
China is thought to require more than 200 helicopters of the class within the next few decades across military and commercial domains.
Performance figures were also revealed at the exhibition for the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI) ‘Short-Tailed Falcon’ gyrodyne lift-rotor and pusher-prop helicopter concept. A placard at the show described it as having a 5,500 kg maximum weight, a maximum payload of 700 kg, a cruise speed greater than 400 km/h, a ferry range of 1,100 km and a range at maximum payload of 650 km.
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