Avic Y-20 Airlifter Awaits Better Engines
By Bill Sweetman, Bradley Perrett
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
The country does, however, place strong emphasis on airborne forces, as Russia does. China has built a rapid reaction force around the 15th Airborne Corps, which is able to respond to crises within China and around its borders. It has continued to develop specialized combat vehicles designed to be air-dropped. The most recent type is the Norinco ZBD03, derived from the Russian BMD-3 and armed with a 30-mm 2A72 cannon. The 15th Airborne also operates with its own helicopter force, so the Y-20's relatively high and wide cabin will be useful in ferrying helicopters with minimal dismantling and reassembly. China's airborne force has been restricted in its mobility by the small available force of Chinese Il-76s.
The aircraft's full name is Y-20 Kunpeng, says the China Daily. “Kunpeng” is the Chinese word for roc, a giant mythical bird.
Y-20 vs. IL-76T*
|47.5 meters/156 ft.||50.5 meters/165 ft.|
|44.1 meters/144.5 ft.||46.6 meters/153 ft.|
|40 meters/131 ft.||43 meters/141 ft.|
|5.4 meters/17.5 ft.||4.8 meters/15.7 ft.|
|4 X Saturn D-30KP, 12,000 kgf/26,500 lb. thrust||4 X Saturn D-30KP, 12,000 kgf/26,500 lb. thrust|
|Max. takeoff weight|
|180 metric tons/395,000 lb.||170 metric tons/375,000 lb.|
*Standard military transport version
|40 metric tons/90,000 lb.||40 metric tons/90,000 lb.|
|Source: AW&ST research and manufacturer documents|