BEIJING: China's first heavy-lift helicopter, suitable for emergency rescue and offshore operations, has passed all airworthiness tests during a test flight. The most recent test flight, in heavy rain, was conducted in Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi Province, east China, on Friday, said Changhe Aircraft Industry (Group) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China, which developed and manufactured the helicopter.
The helicopter successfully took off and landed in heavy rain, with precipitation exceeding 0.03 inch within six minutes, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. It was also tested in Tibet to verify its airworthiness in high altitude region bordering India.
The helicopter will be used for civilian purposes, the report said. After take-off and before landing, the helicopter had to fly at comparatively high speed at an altitude of 200 to 500 meters to prove it was airworthy in rain. "The results were positive -- the helicopter's airborne systems and equipment worked normally and the pilot had a clear view," a document from the developer said. "The helicopter has now met all criteria for airworthiness."
Called as "AC313", the helicopter made maiden flight in Jingdezhen City in March 2010. It completed two trial flights on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in 2010 and 2011. The aircraft is suitable for emergency rescue operations, forest fire response, transportation, offshore operations, medical aid, sightseeing and business trips, the report said.