China’s Black Hawk helicopter clone makes first flight

On Dec. 23, at 14.11 Local Time, Chinese medium lift utility helicopter dubbed Z-20 made its first flight.

As the image (published on a Chinese Internet website and then made available by Alert5) shows, the chopper is clearly based on the U.S. Black Hawk type (China operates 24 Black Hawk procured in 1983 as S-70C-2).

Still, it features some peculiar things: the 5-blade rotor, a larger cabin and a different landing gear and tail.

Z-20 is believed to be a 10-ton chopper that will be used to replace Mi-17 and Mi-171 helos within People’s Liberation Army.

Image via Alert5



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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. We always hear about how their engineers are so smart. Bull. Just like the Russians, they don’t design anything, they’re just good at stealing it.

  2. The Russians developed those engines 20 years behind the curve. AND, we give credit where credit is due. We don’t go steal it and then say, “Look at this great engineering we did,” like the Russians did with the B-29, Concorde, and Rockwell Space Shuttle, I could keep going.

    In the early years of the ICBM, the huge Russian rockets only had half the range of the American versions despite their stupendous size. They didn’t pioneer anything, they were always at least a decade or more behind. Proof their engineering is inferior: they never got to the moon.

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