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Chinese Xi'an Y-20 Transport Aircraft

sferrin

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totoro said:
Now if Y20 with new engines (within several years?) were to compare with new il76, that might be a different thing. Only the initial pricetag may be on side of il76. With ever growing chinese economy and rising sphere of political influence, i could very well see ex il76 operators going for y20 within 5-10 years. Russians will probably be making a completely new plane to replace il76 but it might take awhile. But even so, ex il76 market is probably not going to stay pro-russian but divided between two countries.

They did say they were buying foreign engines for it.

"The plane's engines will initially be imported, but it is only a matter of time before the Y-20 is equipped with domestically developed engines, he said. "
 

Deino

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Following the latest rumour, the first two serial Y-20s were handed over to the PLAAF in a ceremony and are numbered 11051 and 11053 !

If true these numbers would indicate the 12th Regiment of the 4th Division Transport in Chengdu/Qionglai, a former/current Y-7 unit:

Following these reports, the Y-20 entered indeed service today and a ceremony was held at the CFTE. Another rehearsal was also held in Qionglai. There is a high probability that there will be another ceremony and media coverage tomorrow.

Hopefully more later,
Deino
 

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Deino

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Indeed !

Yesterday the first serial Y-20 was handed over to the PLAAF in a ceremony. Following its number 11051 - with a second aircraft serialled 11053 to follow soon - it is assigned to the 12th Regiment of the 4th Transport Division at Chengdu/Qionglai, a former/current Y-7 unit.
 

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sferrin

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It's also looking like that 1000-aircraft claim a few weeks back might have been a typo, and the total a more realistic 100-aircraft.
 

totoro

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That 1000 figure was one person's wishful thinking for how many he hopes they'll eventually sell.
When it comes to purely Chinese armed forces' needs for transport planes - 100-ish or so does seem like a realistic need for the close future. But IF within 10 or 20 years China's overseas interests rise and they have to maintain a large rapid reaction force or they upkeep a military contingent in other countries, that number may increase further by half or more.

Then there are possible other uses for the airframe, since China lacks a proper large airliner and will probably not be able to count on one in decent quantities before 2030. So some tankers or other special mission planes are possible, even likely. With the fairly large air force, China could be looking at upward of 50 such airframes.

So purely for chinese military needs, i'd say final tally of anywhere from 150 to 300 airframes is quite possible by 2040 or so. Of course, time will tell what will really happen.
 

Blitzo

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sferrin said:
It's also looking like that 1000-aircraft claim a few weeks back might have been a typo, and the total a more realistic 100-aircraft.

In addition to what totoro wrote, we don't know if the 1000 number was exclusively for the Air Force or if it included civilian service.

I.e.: it's possible that some civilian services may also buy a number, and given it'll probably be a while until China can develop a domestic wide body civilian airliner for cargo roles, it may be possible that Y-20 also finds a role in the civilian industry.

That said, I find it doubtful that 1000 will be built for China alone -- and I think some news media are jumping the gun a little bit without applying much of their own critical thinking.
 

Deino

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and the second bird too !
 

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Deino

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sferrin said:
It's also looking like that 1000-aircraft claim a few weeks back might have been a typo, and the total a more realistic 100-aircraft.

IMO this number is far, far, far too much exaggerated !

Not even the USAF or the RuAF have such a huge fleet of transports even if You add all C-17, C-130 and C-5 in the USA or in Russia Il-78 + An-12 + An-124.

However I'm sure that the PLAAF will indeed purchase a "larger number" - maybe 100 to 150 - to establish a strategic lift capability and to bolster its transport fleet not only for military but also other "national" assets like emergency and disaster missions. Adding to this maybe a few more for special missions like tanker, AEW, ... , but alone my estimation of less than 200 would require about 10-12 new or transformed divisions; at all a completely new force structure.

Overall I won't be surprised if the PLAAF and other national assets would purchase about 200+ Y-20s and maybe a few more for civil transport operators + some for export, but surely far, far less of these reported 1000.

Just my 2 cents,
Deino
 

sferrin

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"Some media previously reported that the PLA needs over 300 Y-20s to better meet the strategic need of the air force. Xu disagreed, "I think the total number of Y-20s used to equip the troops will not exceed 100." This prediction is based on the transport needs of the PLA as well as the international strategic environment. Moreover, the cost is also a practical factor being taken into consideration.

"It is unlikely that we will invest so much in the second-generation military transport aircraft. In the next five to ten years, China may develop more advanced third generation military transport aircraft, the loading capacity and delivery distance of which will be greatly improved from the second generation," Xu said. "

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/174783/china%E2%80%99s-pla-plans-about-100-xian-y_20-airlifters.html


This is how it's done. They'll have a BWB or LM-like hybrid flying and we'll still be playing with models and powerpoints.
 

Blitzo

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sferrin said:
"Some media previously reported that the PLA needs over 300 Y-20s to better meet the strategic need of the air force. Xu disagreed, "I think the total number of Y-20s used to equip the troops will not exceed 100." This prediction is based on the transport needs of the PLA as well as the international strategic environment. Moreover, the cost is also a practical factor being taken into consideration.

"It is unlikely that we will invest so much in the second-generation military transport aircraft. In the next five to ten years, China may develop more advanced third generation military transport aircraft, the loading capacity and delivery distance of which will be greatly improved from the second generation," Xu said. "

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/174783/china%E2%80%99s-pla-plans-about-100-xian-y_20-airlifters.html


This is how it's done. They'll have a BWB or LM-like hybrid flying and we'll still be playing with models and powerpoints.

I wouldn't read too much into it... I strongly doubt they will develop another strategic transport within a mere decade.
 

Deino

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Another and IMO much more realistic estimation:

Expert: No more than 100 Xian Y-20s will be deployed to troops

http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/0617/c98649-9073732.html

Recently, news that the first batch of China's Xian Y-20 large military transport aircraft has been deployed to troops appeared on Weibo and in online military forums. However, the news hasn't been confirmed by the PLA. People's Daily Online interviewed military expert Xu Yongling on this issue and according to him, no more than 100 Y-20s will be deployed to troops in the future and in the next five to ten years, China may develop its third generation military transport aircrafts.

According to Xu, if the Y-20 has been used to equip the troops, then it only takes three and a half years from the maiden flight to actual use. The A-400M transport aircraft of the Europe took six years for this process. Since the maiden flight, the Y-20 hasn't experienced any major technological difficulties; in addition that this transport plane doesn't need so many experiments as the fighters, so it is believable that the Y-20 will be deployed to troops in the near future.

Some media previously reported that the PLA needs over 300 Y-20s to better meet the strategic need of the air force. Xu disagreed, "I think the total number of Y-20s used to equip the troops will not exceed 100." This prediction is based on the transport needs of the PLA as well as the international strategic environment. Moreover, the cost is also a practical factor being taken into consideration.

"It is unlikely that we will invest so much in the second generation military transport aircraft. In the next five to ten years, China may develop more advanced third generation military transport aircraft, the loading capacity and delivery distance of which will be greatly improved from the second generation," Xu said.
 

riggerrob

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Judging by press-releases, PLAAF only considers Y-20 an interim solution for military transport. In the long-run, they expect to buy third-generation transports with Chinese-made engines.

As for whether production will peak at 100 or 1,000 .....? May I suggest that the PLAAF thinks it needs a fleet of 100 airplanes to meet existing commitments. How many airframes will they need to maintain hat size fleet over a 30-year period?
The next question is about thier overhaul policy .....
Will they replace or overhaul?
will they follow Russian tradition and scrap airplanes after "x" thousand hours?
Will they send airplanes back to the factory for major rebuilds?
Will they contract out overhauls to third party MRO companies the way airlines do?

For example, the Royal Canadian Air Force operated 1960s-vintage C-130 Hercules well into this century, but along the way, they got new wing boxes, new instrument panels, new belly skins and a bewildering array of updates while engines, radios, undercarriage, etc. Cycling through overhaul contractors on a regular basis. How much of those Hercs were still 1960s-vintage original parts?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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riggerrob said:
For example, the Royal Canadian Air Force operated 1960s-vintage C-130 Hercules well into this century, but along the way, they got new wing boxes, new instrument panels, new belly skins and a bewildering array of updates while engines, radios, undercarriage, etc. Cycling through overhaul contractors on a regular basis. How much of those Hercs were still 1960s-vintage original parts?

“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.”

Terry Pratchett
 

Deino

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... and another new one !
 

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kaiserbill

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Apparently, some pics from the official service induction of the first two airframes, 01 and 02, for the Airforce.
 

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kaiserbill

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Some more from the ceremony.
 

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flateric

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...
 

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flanker

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I am not sure if it is physically possible for that video to be any more commie.

But some great footage.
 

sferrin

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flanker said:
I am not sure if it is physically possible for that video to be any more commie.

But some great footage.

Definitely had a propaganda feel to it.
 

Pioneer

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I am not sure if it is physically possible for that video to be any more commie

Definitely had a propaganda feel to it

I don't know gent's, not to different in propaganda feel/value/sales pitch to the Lockheed Martin F-35 adds!
Oh except, I think the Y-20 will enter large-size production, operational service and give good reliable service before the F-35 :-X

Regards
Pioneer
 

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"....Oh except, I think the Y-20 will enter large-size production, operational service and give good reliable service before the F-35 "

Comment: They are going to have to do something about those underpowered engines before that statement is true.
 

Blitzo

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VH said:
"....Oh except, I think the Y-20 will enter large-size production, operational service and give good reliable service before the F-35 "

Comment: They are going to have to do something about those underpowered engines before that statement is true.

Y-20 with D-30s will probably be able to fulfill those parameters.
It'll be a while until we see Y-20s with WS-20s that can carry the full top end of its MTOW, but in the interim they'll be mass producing Y-20s powered by D-30s, getting them in service, and despite the lower performance of D-30 compared with a higher bypass turbofan like WS-20, the D-30 is still quite a reliable engine and a known quantity.

If you wanted to talk about the aircraft operating up to the full top portion of its operational weight (which is dependent on having more powerful engines) then you'd be more correct.
 

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sferrin

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Will they sell some to us? Probably be working sooner than the KC-46.
 

Deino

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Indeed eventually soon ... even if I'm not sure if this pod under the wings is an IFR-pod?!

Y-20U or Y-20A + KG800 EMP pod - 20200207 mod.jpg
 

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somewhat related.. Fire broke out at the Chinese factory that produces the WS-18 engines, which are used for the Y-20

 

totoro

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Who knows. Given the fairly big numbers of y-20 produced I somehow doubt we will see quick re-engine push. If we do, it may be a few planes a year thing, taking a decade ?

Also, it is entirely possible y-20 with WS20 has other structural changes suited to performance with new engines. If so, it's possible early y-20 will not be modified with WS20 at all, if it is deemed financially inefficient.
 

FighterJock

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Who knows. Given the fairly big numbers of y-20 produced I somehow doubt we will see quick re-engine push. If we do, it may be a few planes a year thing, taking a decade ?

Also, it is entirely possible y-20 with WS20 has other structural changes suited to performance with new engines. If so, it's possible early y-20 will not be modified with WS20 at all, if it is deemed financially inefficient.

If the existing Y-20A's cannot be upgraded with the new engines given the expense then perhaps a brand new Y-20B variant with the new engines might be a better cheeper option?
 

latenlazy

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Who knows. Given the fairly big numbers of y-20 produced I somehow doubt we will see quick re-engine push. If we do, it may be a few planes a year thing, taking a decade ?

Also, it is entirely possible y-20 with WS20 has other structural changes suited to performance with new engines. If so, it's possible early y-20 will not be modified with WS20 at all, if it is deemed financially inefficient.
Given that the Y-20 is a heavy transport I highly doubt it needs structural changes to support larger engines.
 

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If the new engine is appreciably different to the old one in weight or/and thrust, it's fairly likely that a certain amount of structural modification will be necessary. Not just because of weight itself but possibly also altered aeroelastic response, consider the case of the KC-767/KC-46 and its underwing hose/drum pods. While these were mounted in locations not originally designed to take such a load (as opposed to re-engining an aircraft), their weight is downright trivial for a Boeing 767 and they still caused trouble.

That said, various successful engine upgrades of comparable aircraft (thinking Il-76TD-90 and KC-135R, for example) prove that the scale of these reinforcements is usually modest enough to make it economical. In this particular case of the Y-20, the structure might even have been designed to accommodate both engine configurations from the outset (A330/340-style), as the change was planned all along.

It'll be interesting to see what happens - on the one hand, the D-30s in question would be very new, on the other the aircraft have a lot of remaining life to profit from a better power plant. And China may even have a use for the low-time engines that such upgrades would displace: the H-6K/J/N family.
 
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