BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's aviation sector is expected to require 2,763 civil helicopters of all types between 2006 and 2026, said Zhang Hongbiao, general manger of the China No.2 Aviation Industrial Corporation (CAIC).
Zhang made the forecast here Monday on the 50th anniversary of China's helicopter industry. He said that his company would take about 15 years to grapple the core technologies in helicopter design and production, and try to make China one of the world's top helicopter producers by 2020.
The country's helicopter industry began in 1956, and over the past 50 years it has produced more than 800 helicopters from 30 models. China has also participated in the design and production of international models including the EC120, S92 and CA109.
In 1999, the CAIC was set up with the design and production of helicopters as its core business. Currently China produces more than 20 helicopter models ranging from the 1.5-ton HC120 to the 13-ton Z-8 series.
Zhang said that China lagged behind the international industry in terms of the number of helicopters and their usage, indicating a huge potential market for both overseas and domestic helicopter giants. Enditem