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China helicopter passes cold weather flight test

(Xinhua)

14:50, February 13, 2012

TIANJIN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's first independently-developed large civil helicopter, the AC313, has passed a cold weather flight test, establishing a good performance in polar region temperatures, said the producer -- China Aviation Industrial Helicopter Co. (CAIH) -- on Monday.

The flight testing period for the 13-tonne AC313 was conducted in Hulunbuir City, Inner Mongolia, starting in January, when the region experienced temperatures of minus 46 degrees Celsius.

The helicopter also set its speed record of 336 km per hour during the testing period.

The AC313 became the first China-made aircraft authorized by China's civil aviation authority in January to fly in high-altitude regions of over 4,500 meters above the sea level.

Xu Chaoliang, the chief designer of the helicopter, said the company has so far received 32 orders for it.

He said equipped with advanced instrument landing system, the helicopter can be used for disaster relief even in blizzard weather in plateau regions.

CAIH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the China Aviation Industry Corp., is expected to produce 300 helicopters annually by 2015, making it one of the major helicopter suppliers in the world.

Headquartered in Tianjin, the company is mainly engaged in the research and development, production, maintenance and sales of helicopters and other aircraft and aviation components.

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