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AVICopter AC312

China (2017)

Detailing the development and operational history of the AVICopter AC312 Intermediate Helicopter.

 Entry last updated on 9/6/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  AVICopter AC312  
Picture of AVICopter AC312 Intermediate Helicopter
Picture of AVICopter AC312 Intermediate Helicopter Picture of 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.

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.
Picture of the AVICopter AC312 Intermediate Helicopter
Picture of the AVICopter AC312 Intermediate Helicopter

Any available statistics for the AVICopter AC312 Intermediate 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).
AVICopter AC312 Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2017
Type: Intermediate Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): AVICopter (AVIC) - China
Production: 1
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 39.37 ft (12 m)
Width: 39.37 ft (12.00 m)
Height: 13.12 ft (4.00 m)
Empty Weight: 5,291 lb (2,400 kg)
MTOW: 9,921 lb (4,500 kg)

Installed Power
2 x Safran Arriel 2E turboshaft engines developing 1,000 horsepower (estimated) and driving four-bladed main rotor and Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 190 mph (305 kph; 165 kts)
Maximum Range: 516 mi (830 km; 448 nm)
Service Ceiling: 19,685 ft (6,000 m; 3.73 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,850 ft/min (564 m/min)


Operators List
China (probable)

Series Model Variants
• AC312 - Base Series Designation
• AC312C
• AC312E

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