I received some very nice pics from a contact at China Avicopter showing the first flight of the AC313, China’s largest helicopter.
This helicopter can transport 27 passengers and can also be used for cargo, search and rescue, fire-fighting, offshore exploration and medical evacuation missions
At the ceremony to mark the first flight Avicopter also had a signing ceremony in which AVIC I International Leasing signed a contract to purchase five AC313s. Flying Dragon Special Aviation then inked a deal to lease the helicopters and be the launch operator.
I think this helicopter has a lot of potential for export, particularly to counties aligned to China such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar and North Korea.
The fact it can be used for fire-fighting and search and rescue means there is enormous potential for China to station these aircraft overseas to provide humanitarian aid.