China’s ambitious military heavy lift aircraft, the Y-20 which looks similar to the Boeing C-17 is to be tested for high altitude flight over the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau.
Chinese media reported today referring to photos uploaded to a Chinese military website showing showed a Y-20 with serial number 783 at Lijiang airport which 2200 meters above sea level.
“This is the first time Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation will be testing the Y-20 in a high-altitude region. The aircraft needs more speed to take off and the atmosphere and high local temperature also affects the thrust the aircraft's engine can generate.”
The reports also quoted Tang Changhong, the chief designer of the Y-20 as saying that the aircraft will complete all tests in different conditions by the end of the year.
While the Y-20 military transport plane has plenty of similarities to the U.S. C-17 such as cargo carrying capacity, size and weight, it also has design elements from the Airbus A400M and the Antonov An-70.
The US claims that the aircraft was developed from designs stolen from Boeing. A former Boeing employee was convicted of selling secret C-17 technical details to China in 2009.