Tuesday, January 29, 2013

China's new Y-20 military transport

General characteristics
Crew: 3
Payload: 66 tonnes
Length: 47 m
Wingspan: 50 m
Height: 15 m
Wing area: 310 m²
Empty weight: 100,000 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 220,000 kg
Powerplant: 4 × Soloviev D-30KP-2 or WS-18

Y-20 looks like to be in the same class as Russia's Il-76 transport, but not as capable as Boeing C-17 transport.

China’s first Y-20 large military transport aircraft made its first successful flight on Saturday.

The Y-20 is China’s independently-developed large multi-purpose transport aircraft. China boasts that the aircraft is capable of long range transport in all weathers. It has a payload of 66 tons.

According to a statement released by the Chinese ministry of defence, the transport aircraft has a crew of three, a length of 47 meters, a wingspan of 45 meters and a height of 15 meters, and has a takeoff weight of a little more than 200 tons.

The first Y-20 is powered by Russian engines but will be retrofitted with more powerful Chinese engines.

“TheY-20 transport aircraft has strong taking-off and landing capability as evidenced by being able to take off and land at airstrips, and can carry all types of armoured vehicles of the army of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)”, the statement added.

The aircraft is expected to carry out further tests after its maiden flight.

"The advanced long-range carrier is being developed to serve the military modernisation drive, as well as to meet demands in disaster relief work and humanitarian aid in emergency situations,” the Chinese defence ministry said.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force operates approximately 20 Ilyushin Il-76 large transport aircraft and has another 30 on order.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

China satellite navigation Beidou starts services

BEIJING — A Chinese satellite navigation network created to eventually compete with America’s Global Positioning System has started offering services to Asian users outside the country.

The network’s spokesman, Ran Chengqi, said in a press briefing that the Beidou system is offering from Thursday services including positioning, navigation, time and text messaging to users in the Asia-Pacific region.

China expects Beidou to generate a 400 billion yuan ($63 billion) annual market for services to the transport, meteorology and telecommunications sectors.

China, and especially its military, have long been wary of relying on the United States’ dominant GPS network, fearing that Washington might take the system offline in a conflict or an emergency.