Chinese Y-20 transport aircraft makes maiden flight
By Robert Foster
The X'ian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) Y-20 strategic transport aircraft made its maiden flight from the Yanliang test airfield near the XAC plant on 26 January.
The flight lasted approximately 40 minutes and saw the aircraft perform a number of circuits of the airfield. Images and footage of the occasion confirm the Y-20 to be a four-turbofan design with clear Russian, Ukrainian, and US influences.
Russian and Ukrainian Antonov engineers are known to have served as design consultants, and their influence is reflected in the steep, sloped nose configuration similar to that of the developmental An-70, which Chinese television imagery suggested has a low-light navigation device below the windshield. US influence is most apparent in the vertical and horizontal stabilisers, which are similar in appearance to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. Data for these components may have been shared with China by former Boeing engineer Greg Chung, who in 2010 was jailed by US authorities for espionage.
In one Chinese television video, the horizontal stabiliser bends on landing, a possible indication strengthening is required. The high-mounted wing reflects Russian practice seen in the Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid', resulting in an unobstructed fuselage cargo area.192 of 361 words
- USN's X-47B headed for first trap landing on board carrier at sea
- The Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future US Navy: Enabling the distributed force
- Germany axes Euro Hawk
- US Army trains with SpotterRF's man-portable radar
- Rheinmetall debuts Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk 2
- Russia, US SSBN patrol figures revealed
- Northrop Grumman tests B-2 anti-jamming satcomms system without USAF's preferred radio
- Militants improvise MANPADS batteries
- India fails to make progress with AW101 inquiry
- Indian government rejects military options over China border row