Air Transportation: Elderly Chinese C-130s Are Retired

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October 25, 2010: There was recently a flurry of stories and indignation in the American media about the possible sale of C-130 transports to China. It was all for naught, as the U.S. had already sold some to China in the late 1980s. These were the civilian version of the C-130, the L-100. These were retired by 2001. Meanwhile, China has been building a similar aircraft, the Y-8, since the early 1980s. The 54 ton propeller driven Y-8 (which is based on the Russian An-12) can, like the similar American C-130, can carry 20 tons. China only built about a hundred Y-8s over the last 30 years, and sold some to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Sudan. There is some effort to shift the ECM and AWACs work, that Y-8s now perform, to Boeing 737s. Meanwhile, new uses are being found for the Y-8. One was recently converted to a medical evacuation aircraft, able to carry 39 casualties on stretchers and fifteen able to sit, plus medical personnel.

 

 


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