CAIC Z-10 Helicopter - China:

CAIC Z-10 Helicopter

The CAIC Z-10, also called WZ-10, is an attack helicopter developed by the People's Republic of China. It is designed primarily for anti-tank warfare missions but has secondary air-to-air capability as well. It was designed by Kamov design bureau of Russia under a contract with the Chinese government. It was further developed and flight tested by the 602nd Research Institute under Wu Ximing and is being built by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC).

CAIC Z-10 Helicopter

Nicknames of characters in the Chinese classic novel Water Margin have been used to name Z-10 and its smaller comrade Harbin Z-19: Z-10 is called Fierce Thunderbolt (Pi Li Huo), the nickname of Qin Ming, while Z-19 is called Black Whirlwind (Hei Xuan Feng), the nickname of Li Kui. In September 2016, the PLA announced that all of its ground force aviation units had been equipped with the WZ-10.

The Kamov design bureau was contracted to perform the development work under a secret contract. Kamov worked with the Chinese to establish base specifications, such as weight, speed and payload capacity after which they had full freedom to design the helicopter. Kamov designed, tested and verified the helicopter design, after which it was provided to the Chinese team. Although designed in Russia the prototype construction, flight testing and further development was performed by the Chinese.

CAIC Z-10 Helicopter

Wu Ximing of the 602nd Research Institute, one of the Chinese top scientists involved in the 863 Program was publicly credited with being the chief designer of the Z-10, in an attempt to preserve the secrecy of the Kamov contract. Wu had earlier participated in the designs of the armed version of transport helicopters Z-8A and WZ-9. In order to complete the necessary development, the 602nd Research Institute and CAIC had jointly built a new engineering design center, industrial simulator, aircraft engine ground test center, fatigue laboratory, and rotary test platform (nicknamed as Iron Bird Platform). In the end of 2001, the final test was completed on the full-scale rotary test platform, paving the way for test flights.

Composite material is widely used in the Z-10 but China faced difficulties in this field, particularly in the area of survivability during crashes. Huge efforts were spent to domestically develop composite materials able to provide comparable levels of survivability to Western counterparts. This achievement earned a second place in the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) progress reward. More details