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GKN Aerospace has won a contract from Jiangxi Changhe Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. to supply the emergency flotation system (EFS) for the Avicopter AC313, the largest civilian helicopter ever developed in China.
The new EFS will give the AC313 helicopter increased survivability in the water as the system will provide flotation up to sea state 5 - ie rough seas with waves from 2.5 - 4 meters high.
The EFS will expand the mission potential of the helicopter, increasing its applicability for use in over-water missions such as search and rescue, maritime surveillance and oil and gas industry transportation.
The EFS will incorporate GKN Aerospace’s new non-explosive emergency inflation technology which is designed to lower system weight, reduce life cycle costs and increase performance reliability.
GKN Aerospace will make first delivery of a prototype EFS in 2014 and will deliver a fully certified system before end -2014.
Phil Swash, CEO - GKN Aerospace Europe and Special Products, said, “This contract win represents the first ever qualification of an EFS to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) standards and is also a landmark for us as it is GKN Aerospace’s first EFS business in the Chinese market. This win extends our lead in flotation systems with our EFS now equipping most large helicopters available today - helicopters such as the AW101, the S92, and now the AC313, are all equipped with our proven flotation technology.”
The Avicopter AC313 is a single-rotor aircraft designed to carry 27 passengers, has a reported maximum range of 900 kilometres, a max payload of 13.8 tonnes and three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A engines. It is manufactured almost entirely from titanium and composite materials.