In the end of March 2017, Zhang Yunlei and Yuan Luogeng, two test pilots from the Chinese PLA Army Aviation Corps, have completed the last airworthiness verification item with AC313 helicopter in heavy rain, Defence-Aerospace reported. The flight was marking the successful completion of the onboard test flight and airworthiness verification of China’s first homemade large civil helicopter.

Based on the requirements of the airworthiness regulations, the test flight for airworthiness verification must be conducted in heavy rain. The helicopter was required to perform taking-off and landing under the condition that the precipitation exceeds 0.7 mm in six minutes, and high-speed traffic pattern flight at the altitudes of 200 to 500 meters.

In order to ensure the safety, a test flight team of the PLA Army Aviation Corps made careful preparations and formulated a contingency plan. The helicopter conducted non-stop flight for one and a half hours in the rain, and the entire test flight was safe and smooth.

The results show that under the weather condition of heavy rain, the AC313 helicopter is able to fly safely with all systems and equipment in the helicopter running fine, and the test pilot has a clear visibility.

The AC313 helicopter is a large-scale civil helicopter independently developed and manufactured by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). According to China Military, quoted by Defence-Aerospace, the research and development (R&D) process of this helicopter is in full accordance with the international airworthiness regulations and the overall performance of the helicopter has reached the international level of third generation helicopters.

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