Beijing: The first ultra-light civil helicopter manufactured in China made its debut on Thursday at an exhibition in the northern port city of Tianjin.
The one-tonne AC310 helicopter, equipped with a fuel-efficient engine and flexible rotor system, can carry two to three passengers and cruise at up to 159 km per hour, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which developed and manufactured it.
It can be deployed for emergency rescue, environmental monitoring, flight training, and private use, said Wang Bin, president of Avicopter Corporation Limited, a joint venture between AVIC and the Tianjin municipal government. The chopper was exhibited at the first China Helicopter Exposition.
"Aimed at China's expanding private aircraft market, the ultra-light helicopter is designed for the public, -- the middle-class and helicopter lovers," Xinhua quoted Wang as saying.
The AC310 made its maiden flight in late August and is expected to acquire the aircraft type certificate from Chinese civil aviation authorities next May, he said.
The helicopter is priced at 3.5 million Yuan (USD 5.41 lakhs), affordable to China's rich and flying clubs, Wang added. The state-owned aircraft maker produces civil helicopters that weigh from one to 13 tonnes.
Its two-tonne AC311 made its maiden flight last November,and its 13-tonne AC313 soared to an altitude of 8,000 meters during a flight trial 10 days ago, according to AVIC.
The expo is organised by the Administrative Committee of Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone, the Administrative Committee of the Airport Economic Area of Tianjin, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China Helicopter Co., and France Advanced
Business Events Group.
More than 200 companies from over 20 countries and regions are taking part in it.