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Aviation gains from exchanges

Updated: 2013-09-27 08:44
By Zhao Lei ( China Daily)

The Chinese Aeronautical Establishment, which belongs to the Aviation Industry Corp of China, was founded in the 1960s and has more than 10,000 researchers. It is the largest aviation technology institute in the country.

Hua said the first cooperative project between China and Western nations in aeronautical research was launched in 1980, when Chinese aviation authorities signed an agreement with the German Aerospace Center to send Chinese researchers to study and work in Germany's aviation sector.

Since then, more than 300 Chinese researchers have been involved in the program and many of them have become leaders in Chinese aviation institutes, according to Hua.

The establishment also has cooperation agreements with a host of prominent foreign institutes including the French Aerospace Lab and Russia's Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute.

"It has become a common practice that we use foreign institutes' instruments or facilities to test our designs," Hua said, noting that the establishment recently signed a contract with the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands and the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels to perform aerodynamic tests using their equipment.

There are three cooperative research projects that are underway and sponsored by authorities in both China and the EU, he said.

Compared with theoretical and technical research, the joint development of aircraft appears to be more tangible.

Avicopter, the only helicopter manufacturer in China and a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corp of China, is working with Eurocopter, the largest helicopter company in the world in terms of revenue, on the development of the AC352, known as the EC175 by the European company.

The AC352 is the first helicopter cooperative project in which China and a Western nation have shared the same responsibilities and profits, Cai Yi, general manager of Avicopter, said.

He said the Chinese government also has been negotiating cooperation with Russia since 2009 on the development of a helicopter that is capable of lifting heavy loads.

In addition to scientific research and aircraft development, many cooperative projects concentrate on new trends in civil aviation such as green aircraft, noise reduction and alternative fuels, Hua said.


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