Wednesday, March 20, 2013

AVIC / Xian Y-20 Transport Aircraft May Enter Service Before 2018

During the annual session of China's top political advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the chief designer of the Xian Y-20 transport aircraft, Tang Changhong, was interviewed by state media.

Tang Changhong has held the position since 2007 and had previously also been the chief designer of the JH-7A strike aircraft. The design and manufacture of the Y-20 involved over a 1000 companies and research institutes.

According to Tang Changhong, the Y-20 may enter service within 5 years provided testing continue to proceed as planned. The aircraft was tested successfully on January 26 and so far test flights have gone well.

Preliminary specifications of the Y-20 from the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, which is part of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, are:
  • a length of 47 m
  • a wingspan of 45 m
  • a height of 15 m
The Y-20 is currently powered by 4 low-bypass Soloviev D-30KP-2 turbofan engines from Russia.

The Y-20 will have the option of using several different types of engines. Tang Changhong confirmed that China is developing its own engines for the Y-20, which will be tested during test flights.

The Chinese engines will offer improved thrust-to-weight ratio and fuel efficiency. The four D-30KP-2 engines currently installed produce 12500 kgf / 27560 lbf / 122.6 kN of thrust each.

Once the domestic engines are installed, the Y-20 will increase its takeoff weight and be able to carry a payload of up to 66 tons. Once the Y-20 has entered service, it will continue to be upgraded and improved.

Credit original poster, via Chinese Internet

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