China is developing a civil variant of its Y-20 heavy strategic transport aircraft, the Y-20F-100, to boost its civilian sector.
Designers at the Aviation Industry Corp of China are doing preliminary research on the Y-20F-100 and they will redesign the airframe and cargo loading system, China Daily reports citing a statement issued by the State-owned defense technology giant. The model of this cargo jet was displayed at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, held last week in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
"This project represents our commitment to transferring military technologies to boost civilian sectors and will fill the absence of a domestically developed large cargo plane," the statement said.
The Y-20F-100 will be longer than the Y-20 and can carry 28 airfreight containers, or 65 metric tons of cargo, as well as supersized engineering equipment. It has a maximum range of 8,000 km, AVIC said.
In addition, China will develop transport jets that are even larger than the Y-20, like the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and former Soviet Union's Antonov An-225 Mriya, Zhu Qian, head of AVIC's large aircraft development office, previously told China Daily.
According to Zhu, more than 1,000 Y-20s and its civilian variants will be needed, explaining that this figure was calculated based on the experience of the United States and Russia, as they have used heavy-lift transport aircraft for many years.
Fu Qianshao, an aircraft expert with the PLA Air Force, said the Y-20 will be developed into a large family that will consist of early-warning planes, aerial refueling tankers and several civilian models.