Harbin Z-19

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Harbin Z-19 helicopter (cropped).jpg
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, 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.[3] It is a specialized combat variant of the Harbin Z-9 which is a licence built version of the Eurocopter Dauphin.[4]

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 using derived mechanical components from the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin series, as the Z-9 series are licence-built versions of the Dauphin.[4]

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.[5] The helicopter is installed with a millimeter wave fire control radar. 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),[6] 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. He also participated in the development and flight testing of another Chinese attack helicopter CAIC WZ-10. 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 (Pili Huo, 霹雳火), the nickname of Qin Ming, while WZ-19 is named as Black Whirlwind (Hei Xuanfeng, 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.[5] Export variants will be designated WZ-19 (Wǔzhuāng Zhíshēngjī, 武装直升机 - attack helicopter), but aircraft used in China will be designated Z-19 as WZ is used by the PLAAF for UAVs (WZ - Wúrén Zhēnchá, 无人侦察 (Unmanned Reconnaissance)).[9]


  • Z-19
  • Z-19 millimeter wave radar platform[10]


 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[11] 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 (174 mph; 151 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 245 km/h (152 mph; 132 kn)
  • Range: 700 km (435 mi; 378 nmi)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 9 m/s (1,800 ft/min)


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

See also[edit]

  • CAIC Z-10, Chinese attack helicopter developed in 2012.

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 d "The Aviationist: China's Light Attack Helicopter Z-19: a silent (rather than radar evading) chopper". The Aviationist. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "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. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  7. ^ "AVIC reveals official names of WZ-10 & 19". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  8. ^ WZ-10 & 19 names revealed Archived 2013-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Gehrs-Pahl, Andreas (21 April 2005). "Chinese aircraft designation systems". www.designation-systems.net. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  10. ^ "China showcases improved Z-19 attack helicopter at China Helicopter Expo". Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  11. ^ https://sputniknews.com/military/201705191053787726-z19e-helicopter-russian-review/

External links[edit]