|A Chinese naval Z-9 departs HMS Cornwall|
|Role||Medium multi-purpose utility helicopter|
|Manufacturer||Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation|
|Primary users||People's Liberation Army Ground Force
Pakistan Naval Air Arm
|Developed from||Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin|
The Harbin Z-9 (NATO reporting name "Haitun", Chinese: 海豚 for Dolphin) is a Chinese military utility helicopter with civilian variants. It is a licensed variant of the French Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, and is manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation.
Design and development
The first Z-9 flew in 1981, and was built in China from components supplied by Aérospatiale as part of a production patent bought on 15 October 1980. On 16 January 1992, the indigenous variant Z-9B, constructed with 70% Chinese-made parts, flew successfully. The flight test was completed in November 1992 and the design was finalized a month later. Z-9B production began in 1993 and entered PLA service in 1994.
The Z-9B features 11-blade Fenestron faired-in tail rotor with wider-chord, all-composite blades replacing the 13-blade in AS 365N. As a light tactical troop transport, the Z-9 has the capacity to transport 10 fully armed soldiers. Generally the Z-9 is identical to the AS 365N Dauphin, though later variants of the Z-9 incorporate more composite materials to increase structural strength and lower radar signature. The helicopter has a four-blade main rotor, with two turboshaft engines mounted side by side on top of the cabin with engine layout identical to the AS 365N. The Z-9 teardrop-shaped body features a tapered boom to the tail fin, with rounded nose and stepped-up cockpit, and retractable gear and all flat bottom.
In 2002, Harbin obtained Chinese certification for the new H410A variant of the Z-9, which featured more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2C turboshaft engines; Eurocopter issued official objections to Harbin's decision to continue production in spite of the license-production agreement having expired, leading to a period of highly sensitive international negotiations to resolve the dispute.
An armed variant has been fielded by the PLA since the early 1990s as the WZ-9 or Z-9W, with pylons fitted for anti-tank missiles. These helicopters lack the maneuverability and survivability of a proper attack helicopter, and merely provide a stopgap during the development of the WZ-10. The latest armed version, the Z-9W, was introduced in 2005 and has night attack capabilities, with an under-nose low-light TV and infra-red observing and tracking unit.
The naval version introduced in the 1990s is known as the Z-9C. As well as SAR and ASW duties, the Z-9C can be fitted with an X-band KLC-1 surface search radar to detect surface targets beyond the range of shipborne radar systems.
- Chinese license produce of the French AS.365N1.
- Chinese kit-built version of the AS.365N2.
- Prototypes for domestic market versions with WZ8A engines. First flight 16 January 1992, approved 30 December 1992.
- Initial version based on Z-9A-100. Multi-role.
- Chinese license produce of the Eurocopter AS.565 Panther given to the PLA Naval Air Force.
- ASW variant produced for the Pakistan Naval Air Arm. Configured with pulse-compression radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver and doppler navigation system, it is also armed with torpedoes for use aboard Pakistan Navy's F-22P Zulfiquar class frigates.
- Transport, emergencies and/or passenger variant.
- Z-9W (WZ-9)
- Armed version with optional pylon-mounted armament and gyro stabilized, roof-mounted optical sight. Export designation Z-9G, roof-mounted sight optional. First flown in 1987, with the first weapons tests in 1989.
- A newer night-capable version has been built with nose-mounted FLIR. July 2011, Xinhua News Agency released a photo of Z-9WA firing ADK10 air-to-ground missile. Incorporates a domestic Chinese helmet mounted sight that is compatible with anti-tank missiles such as HJ-8/9/10, as well as light anti-ship missiles such as C-701/703 and TL-1/10 when they are used as air-to-surface missiles, air-to-air missiles such as TY-90 and other MANPAD missiles for self-defense.
- Version with 635 kW WZ8C turbo-shaft engines. First flight September 2001, CAAC certification 10 July 2002. One is currently being fitted with a new Mast-Mounted Sighting (MMS) system.
- Newest VIP version of the H410A.
- Projected development.
- Attack helicopter development with tandem seats. The WZ-19 shares the same power plant as the WZ-9WA.
Data from 
- Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
- Capacity: 10 passengers or 1,900 kg (4,189 lb) payload internal, 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) payload slung
- Length: 12.11 m (39 ft 9 in)
- Height: 4.01 m (13 ft 2 in)
- Empty weight: 2,050 kg (4,519 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 4,100 kg (9,039 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Zhuzhou Aeroengine Factory WZ-8A turboshaft, 632 kW (848 hp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 11.94 m (39 ft 2 in)
- Main rotor area: 111.98 m2 (1,205.3 sq ft) swept area
- Maximum speed: 305 km/h (190 mph; 165 kn)
- Cruise speed: 260 km/h (162 mph; 140 kn)
- Ferry range: 1,000 km (621 mi; 540 nmi) with internal auxiliary tank
- Endurance: 5 hours
- Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,800 ft) * Hovering Ceiling in ground effect: 2,600 m (8,530 ft)
- Hovering Ceiling out of ground effect: 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
On 14 July 2014, Cambodian Air Force's Z-9 crashed into a flooded quarry in the southwest of Phnom Penh, during a military training. This accident caused 4 deaths and 1 serious injury. Investigation has begun as the helicopter has been taken out of water. Officials claimed that there was no technical issue before its take off.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
- Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin
- Agusta A109
- AgustaWestland AW149
- Bell Huey family
- Bell 222/230/430
- Sikorsky S-70
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- Cheang, Sopheng (14 July 2014). "Copter Crash Kills 2 Cambodian Military Generals". Associated Press. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
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