Harbin Z-19

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Harbin Z-19 making a low-level pass at Zhuhai Airshow 2012
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
Produced 2011-Present
Number built 186+ [2]
Developed from Harbin Z-9W

The Harbin Z-19 is a Chinese light reconnaissance/attack helicopter developed by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (HAMC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force and the Ground Force Army Aviation.[3] It is a specialized combat variant of the Harbin Z-9, which is a license-built version of the Eurocopter Dauphin.[4]

Design and development[edit]

The Z-19 is an upgraded tandem seat version of the Harbin Z-9W (similar to the development of the Bell AH-1 Cobra from the UH-1), using mechanical components derived from the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin series, as the Z-9 series are license-built versions of the Dauphin helicopters.[4]

The Z-19 features a fenestron tail, reducing the noise level and therefore allowing it to achieve some level of acoustic stealthiness. The exhausts have also been designed to reduce the infrared signature.[5] The helicopter is equipped with a millimeter-wave fire-control radar on top of its four-blade rotor.[6] Unlike most other attack helicopters, it lacks a nose-mounted machine gun or autocannon.

The Z-19 also features armor plating, crash-resistant seats, and a turret with FLIR, TV, and laser rangefinder.[5] It is also equipped with advanced helmet mounted sight (HMS),[7] which looks different from that of the CAIC Z-10.

The general designer of the Z-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 the transport helicopters Z-8A, Z-11 and Z-9. He also participated in the development and flight testing of another Chinese attack helicopter, the CAIC Z-10. At the 9th Zhuhai Airshow held in November 2012, Aviation Industry Corporation of China formally announced the official names of the Z-10 and Z-19 at a televised news release conference, with both attack helicopters named after fictional characters in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Z-10 is named as Fierce Thunderbolt (Pili Huo, 霹雳火), the nickname of Qin Ming, while Z-19 is named as Black Whirlwind (Hei Xuanfeng, 黑旋风), the nickname of Li Kui.[8][9]


Original version in the PLAGF service.
Export version of the Z-19. The first flight occurred on 18 May 2017.[10] A number of countries expressed interest in acquisition.[11]


 People's Republic of China

Specifications (Z-19)[edit]

Harbin Z-19 at the China Helicopter Exposition, Tianjin 2013

Data from [citation needed]

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: 4,250 kg (9,370 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 (170 mph, 150 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 245 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn)
  • Range: 700 km (430 mi, 380 nmi)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 9 m/s (1,800 ft/min)


  • 2 pylons for rockets, gun pods, cannon pods, 8× HJ-8 or other anti-tank/air-to-surface/anti-ship missiles, 8× TY-90 air-to-air missiles.[5]


  • Unknown type millimeter-wavelength electronically scanned array radar

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. ^ a b "World Air Forces 2018". FlightGlobal.
  3. ^ "Defence Tech: Friday Eye Candy: China's Newest Attack Helo". Defense Tech. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Z-19 Chinese New Attack Helicopter Prototype". Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "The Aviationist: China's Light Attack Helicopter Z-19: a silent (rather than radar evading) chopper". The Aviationist. February 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ Roblin, Sebastien (14 January 2022). "Nobody Wants China's Z-19 Helicopter". The National Interest.
  7. ^ "成都军区13军武直19亮相 头盔瞄准具"看锁打"瞬间完成_军事频道_中国军情_四川在线 (Z-19 HMS)". military.scol.com.cn. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  8. ^ "AVIC reveals official names of WZ-10 & 19". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  9. ^ WZ-10 & 19 names revealed Archived 2013-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "China's New Attack Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight". The Diplomat. 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ "China's New Attack Helicopter Completes Weapons Trials". The Diplomat. 18 May 2019.

External links[edit]