Tuesday, May 23, 2017

China: Chinese Z-19 Black Whirlwind armed reconnaissance/attack helicopter makes maiden flight

(Beijing) The export version of China's Harbin Aviation Industries (Group) Company (HAIG) Z-19 Black Whirlwind armed reconnaissance/attack helicopter took to its maiden flight the other day. Based on the Harbin Z-9W (itself a copy of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin) The Z-19 has followed a similar development as did the Bell AH-1 Cobra from the Bell UH-1 Iroquois aka "Huey", where a transport helicopter has been slimmed down into a gunship. Whilst not in the same league as the likes of the US AH64D/E, the Russian Mil 28 or even the European Tigre, the Z-19 will afford a cheap modern gunship capability to most cash strapped third world countries.

In Chinese service the Z-19, standing operating procedure is to support the much heavier CAIC WZ-10, attack helicopter on the battlefield via its better observation capabilities in which to spot and target the enemy.

Whilst the Z-19 has been developed from the Z-9 helicopter, it does shares some resemblance to the Japanese OH-1 scout/observation helicopter, but that simply opens up a different kettle of fish.

 OH-1 scout/observation helicopter,