Chinese To Build EC 120
According to a high-ranking official with the Hafei Aviation Industry Co., of Harbin, China, that nation expects to manufacture Eurocopter EC 120 helicopters in the near future. “It has been approved in principle to let us build a new assembly line to manufacture the EC 120 helicopter outside France,” said Qu Jingwen, general manager of Hafei Aviation Industry. According to a story distributed by the Xinhua news agency, Hafei is in discussions with Eurocopter and the China Aviation Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) on the details of the technology transfers and related licensing arrangements. CATIC has manufactured airframe components of the EC 120 as part of that program’s multinational structure from its very beginning in 1993. A written agreement covering Chinese license-built production is expected to be signed by the year’s end and the first aircraft will likely roll off the line by the end of next year.