Z-8 transportation helicopter is a large model, developed by China Helicopter R&D Institute and Changhe Aviation. Its R&D started in 1976. It performed first flight on 11 December 1985 in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, passed technical appraisement in April 1989 and froze its design in November 1994. In 1997, Z-8 was awarded the Second Prize of National Science and Technology Improvement.
Z-8 has one main rotor and a tail rotor, equipped three WZ6 engines. The rotor system is whole hinge joint. The main rotor comprises six metal blades, while the tail rotor comprises five metal blades. The transmission system comprises rotor shaft, main/middle/tail gear boxes and power transmission shaft. The control system is realized by the three linear lever system comprised of hand operating lever, foot operating lever and collective pitch lever. The airframe is aluminum alloy truss structure, and the fuselage is of watertight semi-monocoque structure with keel beam inside its bottom, which enables Z8 helicopter to float, land and take off on water. The aircraft cockpit is equipped with dual pilot control panels side by side, and there is a drawbridge tail door at the fuselage’s tail section, where the equipments and materials can be loaded and unloaded. The landing gear is of front tricycle dual-chamber wheel type, with side-mounted floats. The electrical system is AC and DC mixing supply network.
Z-8 has the maximum take-off weight of 13000 kg, effective load of 3000 kg, maximum lifting load of 5000 kg, utmost speed of 273 km/h, maximum voyage of 800 km and maximum endurance of 4 hours and six minutes. It is mainly used for passenger and cargo transportation, lifting transportation, rescue and emergent evacuation. Z-8 has roomy cabin and large loading capacity, therefore it can be configured based on different customers demands.
Since its first delivery to customer in 1989, Z-8 has completed many tasks such as drill, flight to Xisha Islands, rescuing patients, transporting commodities, participating in emergency rescues and disaster relief work.