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Harbin Z-19

Light scout and observation helicopter


The Z-19 helicopter is already in service with Chinese army aviation regiment

Country of origin China
Entered service 2012
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 12 m
Main rotor diameter 11.9 m
Height ~ 4 m
Weight (empty) 2.35 t
Weight (maximum take off) 4.5 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x WZ-8A turboshafts
Engine power 2 x 848 shp
Maximum speed ~ 280 km/h
Cruising speed 245 km/h
Service ceiling ~ 4 500 m
Range 700 km
Cannon podded 23 mm cannon
Missiles TY-90 air-to-air missiles, HJ-8 anti-tank missiles
Other pods with unguided rockets


   The Z-19 is a Chinese light scout and observation helicopter. It was locally developed by Harbin. It was a China's attempt to develop a modern and capable helicopter. The whole development programme was kept in high secrecy. The Z-19 is esentially a tandem-seat version of the Z-9W, which in turn is a license-built version of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin. However this helicopter also shares some resemblance with the Japanese OH-1. The Z-19 made its first flight in 2011 and was publicly revealed in 2012. This helicopter is in service with Chinese army aviation regiment. It operates alongside the dedicated Z-10 attack helicopter.

   The Z-19 is lightly armored. Both pilots are seated on crash-resistant seats. This scout and observation helicopter is equipped with a nose-mounted FLIR, TV and laser rangefinder.

   Secondary task for the Z-19 is to provide fire support. It has four underwing hardpoints and can carry unoperated rocket pods and other weapons, such as TY-90 air-to-air and HJ-8 anti-tank missiles. The helicopter has no nose cannon mount. However it can carry a podded 23 mm cannon.

   The Z-19 can operate under various weather conditions and at night.

   This helicopter uses the same engines as the Z-9WA. It is a WZ-8A, a license-built version of the Turbomeca Arriel.

   The Z-19 has a fenestron tail. It reduces the sound and allows to achieve some level of acoustic stealthiness. It also has an IR-suppressing exhaust system. This feature also gives a level of protection against missiles with infra-red guidance.

   In 2014 a version of the Z-19 with a mast mounted radar was observed. It resembles a Longbow radar of a US AH-64D Apache attack helicopter. It is most likely that this version can fire anti-tank missiles in fire-and-forget mode. This helicopter was first publicly revealed in 2017.

   Z-19E is an export version. This helicopter is also referred as the Black Whirlwind. It made its first flight in 2017.




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