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.