Aircraft, Airport, Aircraft Specification

The Z-20 Now In Chinese Airspace

The Z-20 Now In Chinese Airspace

The latest military helicopter in China made its 1st flight on the 23 December in a north-eastern location in China which is purportedly the Harbin facility. It is believed that this is the “10-tonne” class, Z-20 aircraft which is a joint effort between Harbin and Changhe as well as the 602 Institute. It is very similar to the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk which has been a favored aircraft in the Chinese military for the last 30 years. The public first got a glimpse of this aircraft in 2013 August. That was when the heavily-wrapped fuselage was being transported by road and had got photographed.

The Black Hawk

In the mid-1980’s China bought 24, Sikorsky S-70C-2s. These aircraft were pressed into active service by the army for treacherous missions in different mountainous regions in China, like Tibet. Within a short period of time, these aircraft performed amazingly well and impressed the Army personnel. The U.S cut-off spares and supplies support post in 1989 and the army commenced buying a majority of its aircraft from Russia and it shifted to the Mi-17/171s. In the meantime, Changhe started reverse-engineering parts to keep the army’s S-70 fleet flying. The Z-20 team drew heavily from the Sikorsky helicopter designs.

Rumors Are Rife

Certain rumors stated that Pakistan permitted Chinese engineers access to the heavily modified Black Hawks that has been destroyed during the Bin Laden raid. The Z-20 bears a striking resemblance to the S-70 but has some notable differences as well. The Black Hawk has a 4-blade main rotor while the Z-20 has a 5-blade unit. The Z-20 also has a longer and a wider cabin and there are some differences in the tail and the undercarriage. A utility helicopter such as this can be used very effectively for fire support, assault, special operations missions and electronic warfare. The Z-20 is projected to be used to beef up the helicopter fleet aboard an aircraft carrier called the Liaoning.

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