Harbin Z-19

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Role Reconnaissance and attack helicopter
Manufacturer Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
First flight 2011
Introduction 2012
Status In service[1]
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force
Number built 80 as of 1/11/2014
Developed from Harbin Z-9W

The Harbin Z-19, also called WZ-19, is a Chinese reconnaissance/attack helicopter developed by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (HAMC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force and the Ground Force Air Force.[2] It is an improved variant of the Harbin Z-9 and hence a distant cousin of the Eurocopter Dauphin.

Design and development[edit]

The Z-19 is an updated modified version of the Harbin Z-9W (similar to the development of Bell AH-1 Cobra from UH-1). It is a twin-seat tandem helicopter with a similar mechanical layout to the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin series as the Z-9 series are licence-built versions of the Dauphin.[3]

The Z-19 features a fenestron tail, damping its sound and therefore allows it achieve some level of acoustic stealthiness. The exhausts also protect the helicopter from infrared threats.[4] The helicopter is installed with a millimeter wave (MMW) fire control radar.

The Z-19 also features armor platings, crash resistant seats, and a turret with FLIR, TV, and laser range finder.[4] Z-19 is also equipped with advanced helmet mounted sight (HMS),[5] which looks different from that of WZ-10.

General designer of the WZ-19 was Wu Ximing (吴希明) of the 602nd Research Institute, one of the Chinese top scientists involved in the 863 Program, after graduating from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1984. Wu had earlier participated in the designs of the armed version of transport helicopters Z-8A, Z-11 and WZ-9, and he is also the general designer of another Chinese attack helicopter CAIC WZ-10.[6] At the 9th Zhuhai Airshow held in November 2012, Aviation Industry Corporation of China formally announced the official names of WZ-10 and WZ-19 at a televised news release conference, with both attack helicopters are named after the nicknames of fictional characters in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. WZ-10 is named as Fiery Thunderbolt (Pi Li Huo, 霹雳火), the nickname of Qin Ming, while WZ-19 is named as Black Whirlwind (Hei Xuan Feng, 黑旋风), the nickname of Li Kui.[7][8]


Harbin is developing the Z-19, which is expected to function and support with a heavier attack helicopter, the CAIC WZ-10, in the near future.[4] Export variants will be designated WZ-19 (Wuzhuang Zhishengji - attack helicopter), but aircraft used in country will be designated Z-19 as WZ is used by the PLAAF for UAVs (WZ - Wuren Zhencha (Unmanned Reconnaissance)).[9]

Specifications (Z-19)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and observer
  • Length: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 4.01 m (13 ft 2 in)
  • Empty weight: 2,350 kg (5,181 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,500 kg (9,921 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × WZ-8C turboshafts, 700 kW (940 hp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 11.93 m (39 ft 2 in)
  • Main rotor area: 111.79 m2 (1,203.3 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 280 km/h (174 mph; 151 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 245 km/h (152 mph; 132 kn)
  • Range: 700 km (435 mi; 378 nmi)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 9 m/s (1,800 ft/min)


  • Pylon stores for rockets, gun pods, HJ-8 or other anti-tank missiles, or TY-90 air-to-air missiles, 23 mm autocannon.[4]

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "Harbin Z-19 Light scout and observation helicopter". Military Today. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Defence Tech: Friday Eye Candy: China’s Newest Attack Helo". Defense Tech. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Z-19 Chinese New Attack Helicopter Prototype". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Aviationist: China’s Light Attack Helicopter Z-19: a silent (rather than radar evading) chopper". The Aviationist. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Z-19 HMS
  6. ^ "Stealthy design for WZ-10 underway". Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  7. ^ "AVIC reveals official names of WZ-10 & 19". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  8. ^ WZ-10 & 19 names revealed
  9. ^ Gehrs-Pahl, Andreas (21 April 2005). "Chinese aircraft designation systems". www.designation-systems.net. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 

External links[edit]