Chinese helicopter Z-20 comes into service
According to the photos published in the Chinese segment of the Internet on May 9, 2019, the new Chinese multi-purpose helicopter Z-20 was brought to the series and began to enter service with the People’s Liberation Army of China. The photographs that have appeared demonstrate Z-20 helicopters carrying the side numbers LH953201 and LH953205, indicating that these machines belong to the 161st air assault brigade of the Central PLA Command Command zone. New Chinese multi-purpose helicopter Z-20 with a tail number LH953205, indicating that it belongs to the 161st air assault brigade of the Central PLA Command Command zone, May 2019 (c) haohanfw.com
The Z-20 helicopter has a take-off weight class of about 10 tons and looks like a complete clone of the American Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, visually differing mainly in a slightly different supporting system (having in particular a five-blade main rotor). Recall that in the 1980s, 24 Sikorsky S-70C-2 helicopters, a “commercialized” version of the UH-60 helicopter, which are still in service with the PLA Army Aviation, were delivered to the PRC in the 1980s.
The development of the Z-20 has been carried out since the 1990s jointly by the AVIC China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI, previously SRI-602) and both Chinese helicopter manufacturing enterprises - the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG, part of the Hafei Aviation Industry Company) in Harbin and Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC, formerly Changhe / Jingdezhen Aircraft Industry Group). in Changhe (Jingjzhen city). Originally the program was called SMN.
The construction of the Z-20 prototypes and its mass production is carried out by HAIG in Harbin. The first prototype of the Z-20 (tail number "20001") made its first flight in Harbin on December 23, 2013. In total, by the end of 2015, at least six flight prototypes of the Z-20 were built. Now, the helicopter, apparently, brought to the series.
Until now, the question remains unclear about the engines of the Z-20 helicopter. Presumably, the prototypes were equipped with two Chinese turboshaft engines WZ-9 developed and manufactured by the China National South Aviation Industry Company (CNSAIC, Zhuzhou, Hunan), which are used in the Chinese combat helicopter WZ-10. However, it was reported that it was planned to use advanced WZ-11 engines developed by CNSAIC (considered to be the unlicensed Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67 clone) or WZ-16 (actually a modified licensed derivation of the Turbomeca Ardiden engine, originally intended for Sino-European helicopter Z-15).