Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle

AVICopter AC312

Intermediate Helicopter

The AVICopter AC312, born from the French AS352 Dauphin by way of the Chinese Z-9 series, is set to compete in the intermediate helicopter market.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/22/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 2017
Status: Active, In-Service
Manufacturer(s): AVICopter (AVIC) - China
Production: 10
Capabilities: Transport; Commercial Market; VIP Transport; Medical Evacuation; Search and Rescue (SAR);
Crew: 2
Length: 39.37 ft (12 m)
Width: 39.37 ft (12 m)
Height: 13.12 ft (4 m)
Weight (Empty): 5,291 lb (2,400 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 9,921 lb (4,500 kg)
Power: 2 x Safran Arriel 2E turboshaft engines developing 1,000 horsepower (estimated) and driving four-bladed main rotor and Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor.
Speed: 190 mph (305 kph; 165 kts)
Ceiling: 19,685 feet (6,000 m; 3.73 miles)
Range: 516 miles (830 km; 448 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,850 ft/min (564 m/min)
Operators: China
Along with Pakistan, China is a primary user of the locally produced Harbin "Z-9" medium-lift multipurpose utility-minded military helicopter. The Z-9 is based on the French Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) AS365 "Dauphin" and produced, under license, by Harbin under the revised designation. Sensing the market potential for a civilian-minded version of its Z-9, AVICopter revealed the AC312 in 2015 and a first-flight was reported occurring on August 18, 2016. The helicopter is slated for service in the general transport, Search And Rescue (SAR) and medical transport industries.

Outwardly, the AC312 retains much of the form and function of the Z-9 and AC365 before it. A short nosecone sits ahead of the two-seat cockpit and a passenger cabin is fitted at midships. The engine compartment is set over the cabin and drives a four-bladed composite main rotor blade. The tail stem tapers to a Fenestron tail rotor unit (the rotor is shrouded on all sides for noise reduction and embedded into the tail fin). Vertical planes are seated on outcroppings along the tail stem, towards the aft section of the helicopter. The undercarriage is fully retractable and made up of two single-wheeled main legs and a double-wheeled nose leg.

Internally, the AC312 carries 2 x Safran "Arriel 2E" series turboshaft engines developing an estimated 1,000 horsepower each. Performance specs include a maximum speed of nearly 200 miles per hour, a range out to 515 miles and a service ceiling nearing 20,000 feet. The avionics fit is provided by American supplier Rockwell Collins. Dimensions constitute a length of 12 meters with a width (rotor diameter included) of 12 meters and a height of 4 meters.

The AC312 could enter operational service as soon as 2017.

Program Updates

October 2019 - The AC312E production model is nearing certification according to an October 22nd, 2019 news release.



Variants / Models

• AC312 - Base Series Designation
• AC312C
• AC312E - Model of 2019.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo