Started in 1989 by the CHRDI and the Changhe Helicopter Aviation Industry Group, the Z-11 is the product of reverse-engineering the second-hand Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil (Squirrel), a.k.a. AStar, purchased in the USA. The Turboméca Arriel 1D engine was redesignated the Liming WZ8D. The vessel could be equipped with the Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 (rated 560 kW), instead.
The first prototype first flew on 16 December 1994. The helicopter gained its type certification in 1996 and Civil certification in 2001.
The Empty Weight is reported variably as 1,120 kg and 1,253 kg; the standard fuel load is 423 kg.
The Z-11 has been marketed as the CZ11 and AC301. An armed variant, the Z-11W, received technical certification in 2007.
VTOL type: Helicopter
Lift devices: 1 Single main rotor
Dedicated control device: 1 Tail rotor
Crew required: 1-2 in Side-by-side arrangement
Landing gear: Skids