Safran Helicopter Engines and Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) have been granted the type certificate for the WZ16 turboshaft from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Installed in the AVIC AC352 helicopter, a variant of the H175 manufactured in China, the WZ16 is the first jointly-developed aero engine to be entirely certified by Chinese authorities. Also known as the Ardiden 3C, the WZ16 has been jointly developed and built by Safran with Harbin Dongan Engine Co and Hunan Aerospace Propulsion Research Institute (HAPRI), both parts of the AECC consortium. The Ardiden 3C was certified by EASA in April 2018.
Safran Helicopter Engines EVP programmes Bruno Bellanger says: “This major milestone confirms that the WZ16 is now ready to operate in accordance with world-class Chinese safety and performance standards, thanks to an intensive maturation plan conducted by our partners. It is also a historic moment for the Chinese aerospace industry as it is the first-ever jointly developed aero engine to be entirely CAAC certified, and a major step toward AC352 entry-into-service.”
A spokesperson from Harbin Dongan Engine Co, the type certificate holder, adds: “The type certificate from CAAC is a further step towards the commercial success of the WZ16. In the future, we will not only expand our engine portfolio but work hand-in-hand with Safran Helicopter Engines to provide continuous airworthiness and after-sales service for the WZ16, ensuring smooth operation and world-class after-sales service for our clients. Thus, they can buy it confidently and use it safely.”
The WZ16/Ardiden 3C is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700-2,000 shp range. The Ardiden 3 family has completed over 10,000 hours of tests, confirming high levels of design maturity and competitive operating and maintenance costs. It features a remarkably compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and low cost-of-ownership. It also delivers at least 10 per cent better fuel consumption than engines operating in the same power range.
The WZ16 flight test campaign started in December 2016 with the AVIC AC352's maiden flight.