Development began in 1975, as a product of reverse-engineering the Aéropatiale SA 321Ja Super Frelon amphibious helicopter.  Manufacturing of the Z-8 was assigned to the Changhe Helicopter Factory (with the addition of Harbin later on); reverse-engineering of the Turmo IIIC6-70  and production as the WZ6 performed by the Jiangxi Helicopter Engine Factory.  The Z-8 was cleared for operation with PLANAF in 1989 and certified in 1994.  The only known export customer is the Sudanese Air Force.

The cabin can hold up to 27 troops with full kit or 39 soldiers.  Early Z-8s lacked weather radar; fitted with electric hoist (Capacity:  275 kg)

Maximum internal and external payloads are 4,000 kg and 5,000 kg, respectively.  The normal take-off weight is 9,000 kg; while the MTOW with standard fuel is 10,592 kg, two auxiliary tanks can be equipped--producing a MTOW of 12,074 kg.

Overview

Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: Operational

Configuration

Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Tail rotor

Crew required: 2

Crew seating: Side-by-side

Landing gear: Wheels (all retractable)

Overall Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Height: 6.66 m (21.9 ft)

Overall Length: 23.05 m (75.6 ft)

Overall Width: 18.90 m (62.0 ft)

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Total number of engines: 3

Engine designation: JHEF WZ6 turbine

Engine manufacturer: Jiangxi Helicopter Engine Factory

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 10592 kg (23351 lb)

Max Range: 430 km (232 nm)

Max Endurance: 2.5 hrs (2.5 hrs)

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