Z-8 and Z-18 transport helicopter - family & versions


Just Hatched
Registered Member
The weather radar (of the Z-8G and Z-8L) is in the nose cone, what is the chin-mounted withe-covered pod ?


  • Z-8L.jpg
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Junior Member
Registered Member
You can cross-post this on the QBZ 191 thread too. Nice to see the guns more.


Tyrant King
Amazing they have basically taken a Super Frelin and created a Merlin. It’s like taking a 1980s Chevy Nova and building from it a Rolls Royce Cullinan.
It’s hard to imagine any parts are compatible at this point besides screws and small components. I mean they have now changed the last aspect that carried over other than the naming. The engine configuration. This is kinda like The CH53K in that other than name it’s a completely new aircraft.
It will be interesting to see if they offer this aircraft into actual civilian applications and what configurations. If we look at Merlin and Super hawk as a base the. AC313A should have potential for SAR, Executive, Oil drilling and ambulance applications.


Lieutenant General
Can anyone help to identify since I have no access to my images at home … is this a Z-8L under construction or something new?

View attachment 76233

A bigger version.


It's the AC313A, which is the civilian version of the Z-8L. I posted about this about two years ago, although at the time I didn't know it was based on the Z-8L because that designation was still unknown.

AC313A is an improved civilian variant of the Z-8. Bullet points are as follows:
- Optimized engine layout, reducing engine installation loss (?) by more than 3%.
- New high-performance engine with improved lifespan and performance.
- Can operate 200% longer when carrying an external load of five tons, with great-than-40% high-altitude carrying capacity.
- Implemented HUMS (Health and Usage Monitoring System) and anti-icing system, improved safety, now capable of operating across all terrains and geographies.
- Better ease of maintenance, improved efficiency, reduced life-cycle cost.


A clearer image of the the static test airframe.

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Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Another much clearer image of the Z-8X/AC313A iron-bird showing that the engine nacelle is very much different to the Z-8L.

(Image via 柳成梁/FB)



I must admit and even if I know all reports so far say, this is a civil variant, my feeling tells me, this is the next PLAN Marine Corps helicopter.
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