The Harbin Z-5 (Zhishengji – helicopter) is a Chinese variant of the Soviet Mil Mi-4 piston powered helicopter. Before its discontinuation from service, it was produced in Harbin, China.

Harbin Z-5
Harbin Z-5 holding a hover
Role Transport helicopter/Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
Designer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
First flight 14 December 1958
Status Retired from active service
Primary user China
Number built 558
Developed from Mil Mi-4
Variants Harbin/CHDRI Z-6

History edit

The USSR provided China with Mi-4 blueprints just a few years before the Sino-Soviet split in 1958. Maiden flight was in 1958 and mass production started in the mid-1960s. China has produced a number of unique variants through this model, and the Z-5 was employed by the PLA, PLAAF and PLANAF in large numbers as reserve forces. A total of 558 Z-5 were built. A few Z-5 helicopters were modified to carry machine-guns and rocket pods.[1]

During the Chinese-Western rapprochement, one Z-5 was refitted with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-6 "Twin Pac" turbo-shaft engine in 1979. Some sources refer to this as the Z-6, but this variant was discontinued after its first model.[2]

Variants edit

Military transport helicopter.
Z-5 assault helicopter
Some Z-5 were converted to carry rocket pods on outriggers in addition to a gondola with a forward firing machine gun manned by the flight engineer.
Z-5 Xuanfeng
Civil transport helicopter.
Z-5 VIP helicopter
VIP versions distinguishable by larger rectangular windows in the cabin.
Z-5 agricultural helicopter
Some Z-5s were fitted with chemical hoppers and/or spray gear for agricultural or forestry protection use.
Z-5 SAR helicopter
Thirteen z-5s are known to have been converted to SAR helicopters with a winch and external fuel tanks.
Harbin/CHDRI Z-6
A turboshaft variant of the Z-5, eleven aircraft built.

Operators edit

Harbin Z-5 at China Aviation Museum, Beijing
  North Korea
  Khmer Rouge
  People's Republic of China

Specifications (Z-5) edit

Data from Chinese Aircraft[10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) normal payload, 1,550 kg (3,417 lb) maximum internal payload, 1,300 kg (2,866 lb) maximum slung payload.
  • Length: 25.017 m (82 ft 1 in) including main rotor and tail rotor
  • Height: 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,600 kg (16,755 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Dongan HS-7 14-cylinder, two-row, air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,250 kW (1,680 hp)
  • Main rotor diameter: 21 m (68 ft 11 in)


  • Maximum speed: 210 km/h (130 mph, 110 kn)
  • Ferry range: 780 km (480 mi, 420 nmi) with external fuel tanks

See also edit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References edit

  1. ^ " Z5 Helicopter Armed Version". Archived from the original on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  2. ^ Source: by Greg Goebel (public domain)
  3. ^ "Albania Air Force Unit History". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Albanian Harbin-Z-5". Demand media. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Portfolio: Democratic People's Republic of Korea Air Force". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  6. ^ Gunston, An Illustrated Guide to Military Helicopters (1981), p. 112.
  7. ^ "Harbin Z-5". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  8. ^ Helicopters: An Illustrated History Of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. 2005. ISBN 9781851094684.
  9. ^ People's Liberation Army Navy: Combat System Technology, 1949–2010. Naval Institute Press. 2011. ISBN 9781612510323.
  10. ^ Gordon, Yefim; Dmitry Komissarov (2008). Chinese Aircraft. Manchester: Hikoki Publications. pp. 263–266. ISBN 9-781902-109046.

Bibliography edit

  • Bill Gunston, An Illustrated Guide to Military Helicopters, Salamander Books Ltd, London 1981. ISBN 978-0861011100