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Tracking Military, Geopolitical & Strategic trends to determine China's impact Regionally Globally and Domestically
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Limited Liftoff Looming: Y-20 Transport Prepares for 1st Test Flight

Limited Liftoff Looming: Y-20 Transport Prepares for 1st Test Flight | China Commentary | Scoop.it

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, Xi’an 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 China’s “Medium- and Long-Term National Science and Technology Development Program (2006–20)” (MLP).

 

Now satellite images have revealed the Y-20’s presence at Yanliang airfield, near Xi’an, which hosts the People’s 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-20’s presence there nevertheless suggests that its test flight is one of the ones being readied. What will a Y-20 test flight suggest about China’s aviation development and military capabilities?

 

 

DOSID's insight:

An excellent and detailed analysis of Military Jet Engine Development in China by the China Sign Post is a must read. We quote:

 

"For the past two years, we’ve worked hard to bring readers cutting edge analysis of China’s military jet engine development."

 

China Military Jet Engine Development Overview: An eReader

http://www.chinasignpost.com/2012/12/china-military-jet-engine-development-overview-an-ereader/

 

 

By China Sign Post

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Did Satellites Capture China's Mysterious Giant War Plane?

Did Satellites Capture China's Mysterious Giant War Plane? | China Commentary | Scoop.it

The GeoEye 1 and IKONOS spacecraft have captured satellite images of the mysterious Xian Aircraft Corporation Y-20, China's first long range jet transport. It shows the clearest image of the giant transport plane yet and reveals that China's plane looks a lot like the U.S. Air Force's C-17. That's not an accident.

The satellite images, which were obtained by Wired's Danger Room, show China's Y-20 as having the same "wide swept wing and T-shaped tail" as the Boeing made C-17. The blueprints of the C-17 were stolen by spies working for Boeing and given to China. This plane's design is a rip off.

What China can't rip off though is the engines that are necessary to power the plane. Apparently, there are only four companies capable of building the kind of engines that the Y-20 needs. Three are Western companies (GE/CFM, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney) and one is Russian. It's assumed that China will have to use Russian engines to lift its 200 ton body (however, Russia is reluctant to sell engines to China because China might rip them off) and those engines may lack the performance in modern transport planes. So though the Y-20 may look like an American giant transport plane, it may actually be all show and no go. [Wired, Image Credit: GeoEye GeoEye 1]

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