China Offers Journalists Rare Glimpse Of Military Helicopter
By Bradley Perrett
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
What seems to have been the earliest version retained the original three doors on each side of the body and had simple weapons pylons. An improved version sported an optical sight on the roof above the cockpit. These two versions may have been subvariants of the Z-9W. About 80 units were reportedly built from 1987.
Later an electro-optical ball turret under the nose replaced the roof-top sight—producing a version that has been identified as the Z-9WA—and finally the body was redesigned, with an arrangement of two doors on each side and beefier pylons. That was the version identified as the Z-9WZ at Tongzhou. “WZ” presumably stands for wuzhuang, meaning “armed.”