First clean images of China’s Z-20 tactical helicopters’s naval version have emerged on the online forums in China. The airframe features major differences from the version used by the PLAGF (People’s Liberation Army Ground Forces), which was showcased with further details at the 5th China Helicopter Exposition that took place from the 10-13th of October in Tianjin.
The naval model commonly referred to as Z-20F is intended for use with the PLA Navy (PLAN), and features a redesigned undercarriage arrangement, with the tail wheel adjusted to a forward position just behind the cabin, and shorter struts for the front undercarriages, to accommodate for the smaller landing space’s of the ship’s flight decks.
The length of the aircraft is shortened by hinging forward the tail rotor, so that the aircraft can fit in the cramped hangers of the ships. A distinctive notch in the center of the horizontal stabilizer fitted below the tail rotor is an obvious difference from the PLAGF’s version, which makes us assume that the horizontal stabilizer folds, and it is also safe to assume that the main rotors do fold aswell.