Powering the Avicopter AC352, the engine has been jointly developed and built by Safran Helicopter Engines, Dongan and HAPRI, parts of the Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) consortium.
Known in China as the WZ16, it should be certified by CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) in September 2019. The Ardiden 3C/WZ16 will be the first helicopter engine to be certified by both CAAC and EASA.
Commented Franck Saudo, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO, "this certification is a major milestone in the Ardiden 3C/WZ16 program. It confirms that the engine is performing extremely well and represents a major step for the AC352 flight test program. We now look forward to CAAC certification and are fully committed to supporting Avicopter as it approaches entry-into-service."
The Ardiden 3C/WZ16 is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700 to 2,000 shp power class. It features a remarkably compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and a low cost-of-ownership. Compared to engines operating in the same power range, it offers ten per cent lower fuel consumption.
Ardiden 3C flight test campaign started in December 2016 with the AC352's maiden flight. Another variant, the Ardiden 3G, has also been selected by Russian Helicopters to power its Ka-62 which made its first flight in May 2017.
Since first ground tests of its two variants, the Ardiden 3 range maturation and certification campaign has accumulated more than 10,000 hours of trials, and will demonstrate a high level of maturity at entry-into-service.
With over 500 engines in operation, China represents a major strategic market for Safran Helicopter Engines. One of every two Chinese-registered helicopters is equipped with a Safran engine or licensed product. This level of business is the result of 40 years of cooperation with industry in China.