Skip to comments.Limited Liftoff Looming: Y-20 Transport Prepares for 1st Test Flight
Posted on 01/10/2013 12:41:20 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Limited Liftoff Looming: Y-20 Transport Prepares for 1st Test Flight
While China's stealth aircraft prototypes may get all the buzz, the Y-20 offers new military operational possibilities.
In 2011 and 2012, China flight-tested stealth fighter prototypes developed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (J-20) and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (J-31). In 2013, Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) will look to get into the new aircraft game by flight-testing a prototype of the Y-20, an indigenously-developed large transport aircraft similar in size to the Russian IL-76 and somewhat smaller than the U.S. C-17. The Y-20 program is part of an effort to develop an indigenous long-range jet-powered heavy transport aircraft, a top priority in Chinas Medium- and Long-Term National Science and Technology Development Program (200620) (MLP).
Now satellite images have revealed the Y-20s presence at Yanliang airfield, near Xian, which hosts the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)s China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE). There it reportedly began low-speed taxi testing on December 21, 2012. On January 3, 2013, Aviation Industry of China (AVIC) Chairman and Party Secretary Lin Zuoming visited Yanliang to observe the situation there and offer his gratitude for contributions made and successes achieved by the numerous CFTE and XAC personnel who have been toiling to prepare testing and test flights. While it is only natural for an aviation executive to engage in such activities at a flight test center, the Y-20s presence there nevertheless suggests that its test flight is one of the ones being readied. What will a Y-20 test flight suggest about Chinas aviation development and military capabilities?
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On December 27, 2012, PLA
(Excerpt) Read more at thediplomat.com ...
This thing is supposed to have a 2,000-mile range. With a fleet of these things the army could deploy to Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan and back without refueling. If they develop in-flight refueling they can go to Australia or Hawaii.