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​China's AC352 conducts maiden flight

The Avicopter AC352 7t multi-role helicopter has conducted its first flight in Harbin.

The helicopter, based on the Airbus Helicopters H175, achieved all targets for its maiden flight, says engine maker Safran in a statement.

Safran jointly developed the AC352’s WZ16 turboshaft engine, which is based in the Ardiden 3C, with Chinese partners.The AC352 is powered by two WZ16s.

Media reports from China show the new helicopter hovering and performing basic manoeuvres near the company’s Harbin production facility.

“This flight both secures the AC352 development schedule and marks a major milestone in our partnership with China’s aerospace industry,” says Safran executive Cyrille Poetsch.

“Through this programme Safran demonstrates its ability to successfully conduct new generation engine design as part of an international partnership.”

It adds that the WZ16 will be the first helicopter engine to be certificated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

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