Harbin/CHRDI Z6: Ugly & Hopeless.

The Z6 was the first turbine engined helicopter “Made in China”. Designed as successor of the Z5 -a Mil Mi-4 copy-, the Z6 was based in that previous model’s airframe and rotor. The piston engine was replaced by a single WJ5 turboprop, an Ivchenko AI-24 copy. The resultant contraction took its maiden flight in late 1969 and soon proved to be a major disappoint: vibrations, deficient tail rotor thrust, overheating…, you name it. Only six were built.
The Z6 has a very dubious claim of fame (its hideousness apart): its performance was actually inferior to the type it tried to supplant.

Photo taken at the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Museum, Xiaotangshan.


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