NANCHANG, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China's first heavy-lift helicopter for civilian purpose, the AC313, has passed all airworthiness tests, sources with the developer said Tuesday.
The most recent test flight, in heavy rain, was in Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi Province, east China, on Friday, according to Changhe Aircraft Industry (Group) Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp. of China, which developed and manufactured the helicopter.
The helicopter successfully took off and landed in heavy rain, with precipitation exceeding 0.03 inch within six minutes.
After take-off and before landing, the helicopter had to fly at comparatively high speed at an altitude of 200 to 500 meters to prove it was airworthy in rain.
"The results were positive -- the helicopter's airborne systems and equipment worked normally and the pilot had a clear view," a document from the developer said. "The helicopter has now met all criteria for airworthiness."
The AC313 had its maiden flight in Jingdezhen City in March 2010. It completed two trial flights on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in 2010 and 2011.
The aircraft is suitable for emergency rescue operations, forest fire response, transportation, offshore operations, medical aid, sightseeing and business trips.