Why China’s Harbin Z-19 ‘Black Whirlwind’ Helicopter is Flawed

There’s no doubt about it, China’s military strength is growing. It came a long way from Mao Zedong’s mass murdering death squads, to a now recognized power in Asia. Apart from having a vast number of army personnel, the People’s Liberation Army now boasts naval superiority, with its home-grown warships like aircraft carriers. Up in the air, its J-20 stealth fighter took to the sky, and it was rumored that the PLA was engaged in some form of cyberwarfare. China is now the dragon of Asia, and it wants everyone to know about that. To flaunt its newly found military might, China began stealing someone else’s economic zone to build fake islands. Can you imagine having a fully armed army base right in your own backyard? Philippines and other South East Asian Nation is now feeling the full brunt of China’s bullying, with a questionable Nine Dash Line as its basis. With lesser military strengths, they have no way of stopping the Asian juggernaut, thought it’s worth mentioning that China’s military is not the snarling beast it always boasted.

For one thing, their vast number of soldiers are inexperienced and undertrained. Their equipment are also notorious knockoffs of existing military weapons from other countries. I mean everyone knows the failed fighter jet, the J-10 which was an illegal copy of the Russian SU-37. And now that we talk of clones, expect those blatant copies to be of inferior quality. And recently, China just unleashed another beast to complement its land power. PLA’s Z-19 was tagged as “China’s Comanche” for being highly advanced. But again, it’s worth noting that like many of China’s equipment, it had serious flaws to begin with.

How It Began
The Z-9, the now unlicensed copy of the Dauphin.

It all started with a helicopter made somewhere in Europe, known as the Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopter) AS365 Dauphin (translated as “dolphin”). Originally it was produced in France under the company Aerospatiale, before it merged with the multinational company