China has no experience in making such heavy helicopters, so wants Russia’s cooperation as China found the Russian Mi-26 heavy helicopter’s performance very satisfactory for the relief work for the earthquake disaster in Wenchuan.
The report says that China hopes to make a heavy helicopter with maximum takeoff weight of 38.2 tons, cruise speed of 300 km/hour, flight ceiling of 5,700 meters, range of 630 km, internal load of 10 tons and external load of 15 tons.
That will be quite an impressive achievement as it is similar in performance to the US CH-53K heavy helicopter, which has a cruise speed of 261 km/hour, range of 852 km, ceiling of 4,383 meters and maximum load of 15.9 tons.
The report continues that Russia proposed the revival of the scrapped Soviet Mi-46 project, but China wants an entirely new project.
Through much discussion, the two countries signed an orientation agreement in May 2015, which has just been officially announced.
The report also says that, according to Russian media, China is strong in synthetic materials, electronic navigation, and other crucial technology, while Russia is strong in engines, pneumatic design and transmission.
The two countries can supplement each other in developing the helicopter.
The report concludes that China is quite active in discussions with Russia and hopes that the actual work of research and development will begin in 2016, so as to conduct a test flight of the helicopter soon.
Source: mil.huenqiu.com – “Finding a ‘father’ for China’s heavy helicopter: Profound reasons for Chinese-Russian cooperation” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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