this news actually came out a while ago, in the start of the Zhuhai airshow, but I never really posted it, because I was trying to get my bearings straight on this transaction.
So a couple of things, people freaked out because they saw the 5 year for 30 orders of Z-8F. Now if you read carefully, it says that the first order doesn't get delivered until 2010, so that means 30 orders will be produced in 3 years. In fact, since the first year only has 3 deliveries, that means the remaining 27 orders would have to be delivered in about 2 and half years. Which still sounds slow, but not that bad when you consider that Changhe also has military versions of Z-8 on order. Consider that they produced 15 Z-8s in 2007 (not sure what the order is for this year but the recent assembly line photos indicate about just as many), this would actually increase the overall production of Z-8s in Changhe to well over 20 to probably 30 a year. Z-8F itself is also a really interesting story. We were convinced a while ago that Z-8F was joining PLAN/AF using PW engine. As it turned out, the ones that did join PLA were Z-8K and they used domestic engine (to avoid embargo issues). Z-8F will not have first flight until 2009. So after over 30 years, they finally developed a civilian version of Z-8.昌河飞机工业（集团）有限责任公司与中航工业国际租赁公司正式签订了《直8F型直升机合作协议》，双方将共 同开发直8F型直升机市场，5年内昌飞公司将生产交付30架直8F型直升机，首批3架将于2010年完成交 付
本报景德镇讯近日，记者从昌河飞机工业（集团）有限责任公司获悉，该公司与中航工业国际租赁公司正式签订 了《直8F型直升机合作协议》，双方将共同开发直 8F型直升机市场，5年内昌飞公司将生产交付30架直8F型直升机，首批3架将于2010年完成交付。这标 志着国产大型直升机开始进入我国的通用航空领域。
直8F型直升机是由昌飞公司和中国直升机设计研究所共同研制的通用运输型直升机，由国防科工委批准立项 研制。该型直升机安装3台普惠加拿大公司生产的 PT6B-67A涡轴发动机，最大起飞重量为1.3万公斤，旋翼系统采用单旋翼带尾桨式构型，起落架为前三点轮式起落 架，配备了先进的发动机电子调节控制系统和数字化综合显控航空电子系统，主要用途为客货运输。直8F型直升 机可按照昼夜目视飞行规则和仪表飞行规则飞行，满足高温、高寒气候和高原等复杂地区使用要求。
随着我国经济的快速发展，大中型直升机引起了国内业界的普遍关注，市场需求在不断升温。直8F型直升机 是国内该吨位的唯一一型国产直升机，具有非常广阔的市场前景。（余建华 冯建和）