China's New Y-20 Heavy Transport Jet Takes First Flight

The highly anticipated first flight of China's enormous new Y-20 four-engined heavy cargo jet was, by all accounts, a complete success. The flight lifts China into a very exclusive club as the Y-20 now joins the United States' C-17 and Russia's Il-76 in the ranks of the world's largest military jet transport aircraft. 

The Y-20 (Yun-20 or Transport-20) is the culmination of China's long quest to domestically manufacture a large “strategic airlifter.” A product of the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, only two prototypes of the 100,000 kg (220,400 lb), 50 meter () wingspan jet have been produced and they're powered by four Russian-built Soloviev D-30KP-2 engines. Regular production Y-20 jets will carry Chinese-built WS-20 turbofan engines instead.

Since December of 2012 the Y-20 has been conducting ground-based testing including runway taxi tests. Operated by a crew of three, the Y-20 is designed to carry up to 60 tons of cargo up to 4,400 km (2,734 miles) at a cruise speed of Mach 0.75 and with a service ceiling of 13,000 meters (42,700 ft).

The Y-20 shares a host of design features with its American and Russian brethren though most (if not all) of these are standard attributes of large military transport planes. For example, the Y-20's high-set wing and “T”-tail T-tail are necessitated by the need for loading cargo through a wide rear door.

Although official Chinese government sources stress the need for a plane like the Y-20 is predicated on the demands of long-distance, high capacity disaster relief and humanitarian aid, its true purpose is to provide China with a wholly-owned and operated means of projecting military force over great distances. (via Xinhua, Indian Defence, and Air Force World)

Jan 28, 2013
by Anonymous

C17 clone obvious, note

C17 clone obvious, note other like Chinese stealth planes borrowing from F22 & F35 models
So Open about stealing US Tech.

Feb 26, 2013
by Anonymous

I find this a rather ugly

I find this a rather ugly design airplane. Warm regards, Ellen - Esschert Design