AVICopter AC332 (Advanced Heavy Lifter - AHL)
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The proposed joint Chinese-Russian AHL would become one of the largest operating helicopters anywhere in the world if the product sees completion.
Detailing the development and operational history of the AVICopter AC332 (Advanced Heavy Lifter - AHL) Heavy-Lift / High-Altitude Transport Helicopter. Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
AviCopter of China is heading the Chinese side of the development with the project name being "Advanced Heavy Lifter" (HAL) and its in-service designation becoming "AC332" (formally the "AC3X2"). An early design effort was showcased in September 2015 during the China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin. The AHL effort is being largely funded by China.
A typical medium-lift helicopter can hover between 10,500 and 14,000 feet maximum before the engine's ability to breath the thinner air restricts further climbing (forward flight reveals a maximum altitude nearer 25,000 feet). In June of 1972, a specially-modified high-altitude Aerospatiale "Lama" helicopter lightweight helicopter achieved 40,814 feet to set a new absolute altitude record. However, the engine flamed out and forced an autorotation landing by the pilot (Jean Boulet of France). With that landing the helicopter also set the world record for longest autorotation period.
China has a history of operating and building both Soviet/Russian and, more recently, French helicopters. With this knowledge, and that offered by Russian engineers, the AC332 is set to take on a most sleek, modern appearance. The main rotor blades, set low over the engine pairing, showcases seven composite blades with swept tips for reduced vibration and drag. The AHL may be outfitted with Russian-originated powerplants of AVIC of China cannot come through with an indigenous offering(the AVIC WZ-20 of 8,000 horsepower output - two would be fitted). The tail-rotor, set along the starboard side of the tail fin, holds a five-bladed rotor system. Despite a separate design phase, the two countries are set to combine this early work to generate the final product.
The Russian design being offered appears as an offshoot of its Mil Mi-26 complete with a twin-engine configuration, seven-bladed main rotor and five-bladed tail rotor set to starboard along the single tail fin featured. Its form largely mimics the in-service heavy-lifter.
Both versions sport a three-point wheeled undercarriage with retractable functionality. Lift capabilities are to be consistent with heavy-lift types for service in civilian sectors (SAR, firefighting, etc...), the construction industry and (possibly) military with an under-slung capability in moving palletized supplies, artillery systems or whole armored vehicles to generally unreachable areas of the world. Additionally, light-class vehicles would fit within the primary hold of the large helicopter.
Any available statistics for the AVICopter AC332 (Advanced Heavy Lifter - AHL) Heavy-Lift / High-Altitude Transport Helicopter are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (186mph).
Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the AVICopter AC332 (Advanced Heavy Lifter - AHL)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.