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Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan)

Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter

China | 2020

"The Changhe Z-8G is intended for hot-and-high operations, serving the modern PLA in a variety of airborne tasks."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/20/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Changhe Z-8G is a reworking of the existing, in-service Changhe Z-18 utility helicopter (detailed elsewhere on this site), itself based in the AviCopter AC313 series. In its original form, the helicopter went to the air for the first time in 2014 and saw service introduction in 2018 with the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The AC313 flew for the first time back in 2010 and was introduced in 2013. The revised G-model took to the air for the first time during 2014 and was spotted in active exercises with Chinese ground forces by mid-2020.

The Army utilizes the Z-8G for various operations including airborne assault and transport - where it can ferry up to thirty combat-ready personnel into battle or 11,000lb of cargo in their place, respectively. It is a "hot-and-high" variant intended for the country's plateau region and similar operating environments, given inherently good high-altitude performance where cold starts and achieving lift become more problematic. It carries terrain-following radar in the nose as well as SATCOM (Satellite Communications) in the tail and supports an Electro-Optical (EO) system to boot. When compared to the Z-18, the Z-8G is distinguished by its completely different, sloped down, nose assembly while all other physical characteristics of the helicopter appear to remain faithful to the original.

The helicopter has a conventional configuration with side-by-side seating for its cockpit crew of two. The cockpit is of all-digital design to help reduce the mission workload and is given extensive window coverage for excellent out-of-cockpit vision. The fuselage is lined with rounded-rectangular portholes for viewing and the trio of engines is fitted to the roof. The rear of the fuselage has a powered cargo door which sits under the tail stem. Sponsons are present at each side of the fuselage with each supporting a twin-wheeled main leg while the "chin" position is home to a twin-wheeled nose leg.

Power is from 3 x WZ-6C turboshaft engines driving a five-bladed main rotor over the fuselage and a five-bladed tail rotor offset to port side. This engine, produced under license locally as it is based in the French Turbomeca "Turmo", has also driven the SA321 "Super Frelon" and SA330 "Puma" French helicopters for decades.

This gives the helicopter a range out to 600 miles and a service ceiling of about 20,000 feet.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Changhe Z-8G Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter.
3 x WZ-6C turboshaft engines driving five-bladed main rotor over fuselage and five-bladed tail rotor offset to portside.
208 mph
335 kph | 181 kts
Max Speed
155 mph
250 kph | 135 kts
Cruise Speed
19,685 ft
6,000 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Changhe Z-8G Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter.
75.6 ft
23.05 m
O/A Length
62.3 ft
(19.00 m)
O/A Width
23.0 ft
(7.00 m)
O/A Height
19,335 lb
(8,770 kg)
Empty Weight
30,358 lb
(13,770 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan) Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter .
Typically none. 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) or simialr can be affixed to rear cargo ramp for the self-defense and infantry suppression roles.
Notable series variants as part of the Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan) family line.
Z-8G ("Gaoyuan") - Base Series Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 100 Units

Contractor(s): Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) - China
National flag of China

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Image of the Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan)
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan) Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter.
Going Further...
The Changhe (CAIC) Z-8G (Gaoyuan) Multi-Mission Transport Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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