The first flight of the Avicopter AC352, powered with WZ16 engine, took place December 21, in Harbin. The AC352 is a new seven-ton, twin-engine, multi-purpose rotorcraft jointly developed by Avicopter and Airbus Helicopters. The WZ16 met all the performance targets set for this maiden flight. Known in the west as the Ardiden 3C, the engine has been jointly developed by Safran Helicopter Engines, CAPI and Dongan, parts of the new Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) consortium, in a partnership for both development and production. WZ16 will be the first helicopter engine to be certified in parallel, both in China by CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) and in Europe by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) under the Ardiden 3C designation. The EASA certification for the Ardiden 3C is expected by end of 2017, and the CAAC certification for the WZ16 in 2018.
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