The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has certificated the WZ16 turboshaft that will power the AVIC AC352 7t multi-role helicopter.
The engine is based on the Safran Ardiden 3C that powers the Airbus Helicopters H175, on which the AC352 is based. It was jointly developed by Safran and the Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC).
The news follows EASA’s certification of the Ardiden 3C in 2018.
Safran says that the WZ16 “is the first jointly-developed aero engine to be entirely certified by Chinese authorities.”
The specific AECC units involved in the work are Harbin Dongan Engine and Hunan Aerospace Propulsion Research Institute.
“Certification from Chinese authorities marks a major milestone for Safran Helicopter Engines and AECC” says Safran executive vice president Bruno Bellanger.
“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.”
The AC352 conducted its maiden flight in December 2016, and has been undergoing testing since then.
The WZ16/Ardiden 3C turboshaft falls in the 1,700-2,000shp range