Air Transportation: The Chinese Answer To The C-130J

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July 21, 2009: China has revived its effort to build a C-130J class transport. The Chinese Y-9 is a 77 ton Chinese designed aircraft that is back in development. Powered by four turboprops, it can carry 25 tons (or nine 108x88 inch pallets, or 132 paratroopers.) It will have a crew of four, a cruise speed of 650 kilometers an hour, and has a max ferry range of 7,800 kilometers. The initial Y-9 design effort began in 2001, but the manufacturer ran into personnel and quality control problems, and put the effort on hold after a few years.

The Y-9 is basically a stretched version of the 61 ton Y-8F-200, which is, in turn, a Chinese copy, and upgrade, of the Russian An-12. Like the U.S. C-130, the An-12 was developed in the 1950s, and is still used by civilian cargo haulers all over the world. Some 1,200 An-12s were built (between 1957-73), compared to about a hundred 100 Y-8s (which began production in 1981). Nearly 2,300 C-130s have been built so far.

China wants to reduce its dependence on Russia for transport aircraft, and has noted the success of the latest version of the C-130, the C-130J (a 79 ton aircraft with a crew of three, that can carry 33 tons of cargo, 8 pallets or 92 paratroopers.) The C-130J has a cruise speed of 644 kilometers an hour and max ferry range of 7,400 kilometers.

 

 


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