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.


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


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)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 6.66 m 21.9 ft
Overall Length: 23.05 m 75.6 ft
Overall Width: 18.90 m 62.0 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length:  
Airframe Width: 5.20 m 17.1 ft
Airframe Height:  
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base:  
Landing Gear Track:  
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Cruising Speed: 266 km/h; Economical Speed: 255 km/h; Maximum Speed: 315 km/h; Combat Radius(with a 3,000 kg payload): 500 km; Ferry Range: 830 km

Max Gross Weight (ground): 10,592 kg 23,351 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne):  
Max Take-off Weight: 10,592 kg 23,351 lb
Empty Weight: 6,983 kg 15,395 lb
Useful Load: 3,609 kg 7,956 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.659
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb:  
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE: 5,500 m 18,045 ft
Hover Ceiling OGE: 4,400 m 14,436 ft
Max Level Flight Speed:  
Never Exceed Speed: 315 km/h 170 kts
Service Ceiling: 6,000 m 19,685 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range: 430 km 232 nm
Max Endurance: 3 hrs 3 hrs

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 3
Designation: JHEF WZ6 turbine
Manufacturer: Jiangxi Helicopter Engine Factory
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated:  
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 18.90 m 62.01 ft
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Hub Type:
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord:  
Blade Tip Geometry:
Blade Twist:  
Number of Blades: 6
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 280.55 m² 3019.9 ft²
Disc Loading: 37.75 kg/m² 7.733 lb/ft²
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade:  
Tip Speed:  

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 4.00 m 13.12 ft
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades: 5
Blade Construction:  
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 12.57 m² 135.3 ft²
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the Z-8 , provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
Forum Proceedings
Vertiflite articles
Enter a search term in the box above.
Web files from
Enter a search term in the box above.
Webpages from
Enter a search term in the box above.

Related Public Resources

Resources related to the Z-8 , provided by public sources across the internet.