06 November 2009

AVIC : China’s Largest Home-Made 200-Tonne Class Air Lifter to Emerge in December

6 November 2009

Image of China's 200 ton heavy airlifter (photo : China Defense Mashup)

Despite of the IL-76MD, China will demonstrate its indigenous 200-tonne class heavy military airlifter in the last month of 2009. This transporter is also the largest aircraft which China has ever made. Mr. Hu Xiaofeng, the General President of AVIC, unleashes this information on one media news press today.

Hu Xiaofeng says that the new military transporter will emerge as prototype aircraft, which is independently developed and manufactured by XAC (Xi’an Aircraft Industry Group). He also promises that the 80-tonne class C919 jet liner is being under production and will be delivered to COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China).

China-Defense-Mashup has reported before that this military transport airfraft project was initiated before 3-4 years. Chinese Government has esteemed this project as “National Significant Project”. The Military department believes that the R&D on heavy airlifter should be based on the mature and reliable technologies, but its performance can approach the international advanced transport aircraft with Chinese independent innovative technologies.

It can be summarized that China’s future Military Heavy airlifter Prototype will be designed on Russia’s IL-76MD. But China’s airlift aircraft will has an expanded size and payload capacity, improved electronic devices, and even some concepts absorbed from C-17. For the Engine, China will probably use D-30 engines and then replace them by WS-18 or advanced 4 high-Bypass ratio turbofan engines developed from FWS-10.

Some concept of China's heavy lift aircraft absorbed from US's C-17 (photo : China Defense Mashup)

The detailed information has been unavailable. Here is the previous specifications estimation. Some numbers may be incorrect.

Crew: 3
Payload Capacity: 60,000-65000 kg
Length: 49 m
Wingspan: 50 m
Height: 15 m
Wing area: 310 m2
Empty weight: 100,000 kg
Max takeoff weight: 220,000 kg
Power: 4×turbofans
Maximum speed: 750-800 km/h
Range: (with max payload) 4,400 km
Service ceiling: 13,000 m

For years, Xi’an Aircraft Industry Group has been absorbing foreign aviation technologies and QC(Quality Control) & QA(Quality assurance) measurements by industrial subcontracting with Boeing and Airbus. Meanwhile, AVIC is preparing the correspondent attached technological projects. Such as CARDC (China Aerodynamics Research & Development Center) has achieved breakthrough in “Turbofan Engine low-speed Simulating Testing Technologies” for Airlifter high bypass engine. Besides, in 2008 China’s research on Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based carbon fibers will reach its milestone to produce high-performance aviation materials. PLA’s future heavy airlifter will realize the shrunk aircraft empty weight by CF Compound Material made fuselage and wings.

The strategic value of China’s heavy airlifter, is not only the great improvement PLA’s forces long distance projection, but also an air platform for China’s New concept Strategic Weapon System. A great conventional weapon gap between PLA and U.S. forces usually shrivels China leaders’ purpose of taking Taiwan back by forces. So Heads in China Government has been focusing on unconventional “Shashoujian” weapon system for strategic striking back.

On the media news press, Hu Xiaofeng also says that L-15 will participate this month’s Dubai Air show 2009. He tells that lots of foreign Air Force pilots have visited Aviation Industry Group for related test flight.

November.6 is the one year birthday of Re-grouped AVIC group.

(China Defense Mashup)

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