By Staff Writer | May 8, 2015
Russian Helicopters and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have signed a framework agreement to work together on creating an advanced heavy helicopter. Under the agreement, the parties will work on all areas of development and preparation to launch serial production of the new aircraft, named the Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL).
The agreement was signed today at the Moscow Kremlin by Alexander MIkheev, CEO of Russian Helicopters, and Lin Zuoming, the board of directors chairman of AVIC. The signing was done in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The manufacture in China of a heavy-lift helicopter developed jointly by the two countries has been an important component of Russian-Chinese collaboration in the aviation industry, and today's signing ceremony marks the start of practical work on the project. Experts estimate that demand for the new helicopter in China could exceed 200 aircraft by 2040. The AHL is planned to have a take-off weight of 38 tons, and to be able to carry 10 tons of cargo inside the cabin or 15 tons on an external sling. The helicopter will be designed to operate round-the-clock in hot climates, mountainous terrain and all weather conditions, and will be able to fly a highly varied range of missions from transportation to medevac, firefighting and more.
As of now Russian Helicopters and AVIC have drawn up the preliminary technical specifications of the new helicopter and are continuing work on finalizing its figure. The parties plan to sign a general contract later this year.
Related: Heavylift News