Wednesday, November 30, 2022

China continues to test indigenous copy of the Black Hawk helicopters

China Helicopter Research and Development Institute with industry companies continues to test a Z-20 medium lift helicopter at the high-altitude places.

The two new Z-20 helicopters aircraft with registration number 635 and 636 were spotted at the Gannan Xiahe Airport. It is an airport in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. It is located above Amuquhu Town (Amqog) in Xiahe County, 72 kilometers from the county seat and 56 kilometers from Hezuo, the capital of Gannan Prefecture.

The new Z-20 helicopter is a very looks like a US-made Sikorsky S-70 which is a basic military utility helicopter of the US Army where it is known as the UH-60 Black Hawk.  According to the “China’s Military Faces Futur” book, 24 S-70C helicopters were bought by China from the US in the mid 1980s.


However, Aviation Week also points out that although some aspects of the design do appear similar, such as the tail wheel arrangement, there are also marked differences. For example, the Chinese Z-20 has a five blade rotor compared with the Black Hawks’ four blades.

The Z-20 helicopter accommodates about 12-15 fully-equipped troops. It has a payload capacity of around 5 000 kg. It can carry about 1 000 kg internally and 4 000 kg externally. It can carry various loads, such as vehicles and artillery pieced on underslung externally.

This utility helicopter can be armed with machine guns and possibly other weapons, such as anti-tank and air-to-air missiles, or unguided rockets.

There is a nose-mounted FLIR/TV turret.

Nowadays the test programme of new Chinese helicopters has covered high-altitude performance, autoland, navigation, cabin system tests, and handling among other aspects.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.