BEIJING, Nov. 20 -- The presentation ceremony for the 14th Aerospace Laureate Awards was held in Beijing on November 18. Deng Jinghui, the chief designer at the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China, won the “Technology Pioneer” award for leading the research and development of China’s 4th-generation homemade helicopter Z-20.
The Z-20 represents the highest level of Chinese helicopters so far for its ability of all-weather and all-terrain flight. As a helicopter pierces through low clouds with enough moisture in the air at an altitude of no more than 7,000 meters, ice accumulates on the rotor blades of the aircraft, which leads to be dysfunctional. Thus, during the research and development of the Z-20, Deng and his team had to overcome the global difficulty of ice prevention and de-icing of rotor blades to make a breakthrough for plateau flight.
Deng Jinghui’s engagement in helicopter R&D began in 1986. He and his team began to tackle key technological problems of rotor blade ice prevention and de-icing in the final years of the last century. About ten years later, the project of tactical utility helicopter was initiated. In the following ten years or so, Deng was either studying experimental parameters at the design site, or following test-flying helicopters on the snow-covered plateau or in the humid and hot south, leaving his footprints all over China.
In February 2018, Deng Jinghui and his team finished the last round of test flights on the snow-capped plateau at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters, verifying the rotor wing ice prevention and de-icing technology in a real hostile environment for the first time. This made China the fourth country in the world to grasp this helicopter technology and endowed the Z-20 with the capability of all-terrain and all-weather operation.
The Aerospace Laureate, which was initiated in 2005, is aimed to commend units and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to scientific and technological progress and national defense development in the field of aviation and aerospace. The award has been presented 14 times, awarding 98 individuals and 29 teams and becoming a major industrial honor with great social influence.