TYPE: Multirole medium helicopter
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: China
Chinese name: Zhishengji-10 (Vertical take-off aircraft 10)
PROGRAMME: Thought to have been initiated in about 1994; Nos. 602 and 608 Institutes reported to be taking part in airframe design. Eurocopter France became partner in programme 15 May 1997 with US$70 million to US$80 million, nine-year contract to assist in developing rotor system; joined 22 March 1999 by Agusta (now AgustaWestland) with contract (approximately Lit50 billion; US$30 million) to be responsible for transmission system and vibration analysis. Nomenclature of Chinese Medium Helicopter (CMH) introduced by AgustaWestland in July 2000; officially linked with Z-10 designation by Chinese sources by mid-2002. Reports suggest that three transmission sets will be built in Italy and four, collaboratively, assembled in China.
In size and weight class of Bell 412 and Sikorsky S-76 (MTOW variously reported as 5, 5.5 or 6 tonnes; 11,023 to 13,227 lb), with capacity for two crew and up to 14 passengers or troops. First flight thought to be targeted for 2006, but could be earlier. Eventual production reportedly to be entrusted to Changhe.
DESIGN FEATURES: Intended to fulfil tactical military transport, attack helicopter and commercial transport roles. No design features yet officially confirmed, but indications suggest five-blade main and six-blade tail rotors. Intention of both military and civil use suggests that such aspects as composites construction, crashworthy airframe and seats, rotor system ballistic tolerance, engine run-dry capacity and ability to carry slung loads are likely, depending upon version.
POWER PLANT: Two turboshafts. Pratt & Whitney Canada 1,268 kW (1,700 shp) PT6C-67C selected in mid-2001 (10 ordered) to power prototype, and first set of these delivered by end of that year.