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AVICopter AC311

China (2015)
Picture of AVICopter AC311 Light Utility Helicopter

The AVICopter AC311 is an in-development Chinese-originated offering for the growing global light utility helicopter market.


Detailing the development and operational history of the AVICopter AC311 Light Utility Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 10/3/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

With China's massive industrial growth in recent decades, its defense industry has flourished with a range of ongoing projects and many more on the horizon. No longer content with being a military purchaser (primarily from the Soviet Union/Russia), its military-industrial complex has taken on exceedingly more complex programs - from Fifth generation fighter aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to full-fledged Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and infantry assault weapons. AVICopter, a state-owned defense concern with origins as far back as 1951, began work on a new light helicopter design in 2009 which has become the AC311 product today.

The foundation for the AS311 program was formed decades before when Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) began illegally copying the French Aerospatiale/Eurocopter AS350 "Ecureuil" (meaning "Squirrel") as the "Z-11". The original French design was developed in the 1970s and introduced during 1975 before entering service with a plethora of global operators including Australia, Brazil, and Jordan. Work on a more localized version - the Z-11 - was started in China in 1989 and development eventually produced a workable system which first flew in late 1994. Introduction was in 1998 to which several versions of this light design eventually emerged for military service - including an armed, light attack platform.
From this work then blossomed the modern AC311 series, its appearance not unlike the lines regularly encountered in light-class French helicopters. The aircraft features a largely glassed frontal section for excellent vision out of the cockpit. A small cabin area is situated aft of the cockpit and under the single engine installation found along the cabin roof. The tail stem originates from a low part of the cabin body and houses a shaft used to drive a tail rotor affixed to the starboard side of the vertical tail fin. The main rotor is a three-bladed assembly. As only one engine is featured in the design, only a single jet pipe is seen over the tail stem. First flight was in 2011. The engine is an American Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 turboshaft driving the three-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.

The AC311 program has since evolved by way of a new engine installation, a revised main rotor, and improved flight controls which has produced the AC311A variant. The mark also includes largely Chinese avionics and comes in some 100lbs heavier than the original model. Development of the new mark began in August of 2013 and the engine of choice became the French Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A turboshaft (based on a 2011 agreement between the French engine maker and AVIC). First flight of the AC311A was announced in August of 2014.

The AC311 has achieved certification in China (2012) and dozens of the aircraft are said to be on order for AVIC.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (180mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the AVICopter AC311's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: China
Year: 2015
Type: Light Utility Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): AVICopter - China
Production: 1
Global Operators:
China (probable)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the AVICopter AC311 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
36.09 ft


Meters
11 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.10 ft


Meters
10.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.33 ft


Meters
3.15 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,590 lb


Kilograms
1,175 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
4,960 lb


Kilograms
2,250 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 turboshaft engine driving three-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
180 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
290 kph


Knots
157 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
410 mi


Kilometers
660 km


Nautical Miles
356 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
15,092 ft


Meters
4,600 m


Miles
2.86 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,680 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
512 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None. Conceivably militarized forms will feature machine guns, gun pods, rocket pods, and missile armament.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• AC311 - Base Series Designation; initial product model; powered by Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 turboshaft engine.
• AC311A - Improved flight controls; revised main rotor; Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A turboshaft engine; Chinese avionics.