Page last updated at 05:10 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010

China unveils homemade AC313 large civilian helicopter

AC313 helicopter during a test flight in Jingdezhen city, Jiangxi province
The AC313 is China's first domestically developed civilian helicopter

China's first domestically developed civilian helicopter has completed a successful maiden flight in Jingdezhen, in the eastern province of Jiangxi.

The heavy-lift AC313 helicopter, built by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic), can carry 27 passengers or up to 13.8 tonnes.

It is designed to be used for rescue missions in earthquakes, typhoons and other natural disasters.

It is the latest advance for the country's ambitious aerospace industry.

At last month's Singapore Air Show, Beijing unveiled the Comac C919 aircraft - China's answer to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, which should be available commercially by 2016.

The AC313 has a maximum range of 900km (560 miles), the state-run China Daily reported on its website.

Its test flight - broadcast live on China Central Television on Thursday - was hailed as a "breakthrough in domestic aviation technology", it added.

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