China's transport, tanker & heavy lift aircraft

Bltizo

Moderator
Staff member
New picture from Oedo
Y 20 Air refueling type look like CGI but the shadow look authentic with drogue chute housing look clearer

Y-20空中給油型

I'm 99% sure that is an Il-78.

1: there is no circular antennae cover on the spine of the aircraft compared to most Y-20s
2: more importantly, in the shadow of the tail we can see that there is a significant forward protrusion at the top of the tail that we see on Il-76/78 series aircraft but not on Y-20

Overall, the colour scehem is also identical to Il-78s that the PLA has in service, and the fuselage overall looks narrower than Y-20, with wing differences as well.

Also, the photo of the Y-20 with wingtip refuelling pods that has made the rounds in the last day or so shows the aircraft was still in primer. It's possible that the picture may be old, or that there may be more than two Y-20s with wingtip refuelling pods, but given the above points, I suspect this picture is most likely just an Il-78

edit: the position of the wingtip pods is also very different to the confirmed Y-20 with wingtip pods on the last page
 

Bltizo

Moderator
Staff member
latest GE update...

possibly a Y-20 with four WS-20s?

It certainly doesn't look like a Il-76, though the picture is lower res than I prefer. However there doesn't seem to be a point on the tip of the tail as we'd expect for Il-76.
The four engines also all seem to be fairly larger than D-30, and doesn't merely look like D-30s with panels opened for maintenance or inspection either..

 

Bltizo

Moderator
Staff member
..
but it's still way too low resolution.
In the past we had a picture of the Il-76 engine testbed, where its three D-30 engines looked bigger but was just cowlings open for maintenance. In the case of this Y-20, it could be just that its four D-30 cowlings are all open for maintenance, but at the same time they don't look quite the same size as the D-30s on the Il-76 from 2016... so who knows

 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Interesting question now is whether that's going to be a specialized variant, without a cargo space, being more efficient at tanking mission, or a modular variant which could do tanking less efficiently but could also serve as a cargo variant. I am guessing first quality pics of the rear ramp doors should answer that question, though we may need a year or more of waiting to get such hi res images from the proper angle.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
or a modular variant which could do tanking less efficiently but could also serve as a cargo variant
Most tankers are MRTTs to some degrees. You are never actually going to fill that thing from nose to tail with fuel and get off the ground. So some of the airframe does other functions including cargo and passengers.
 

duncanidaho

Junior Member
..
but it's still way too low resolution.
In the past we had a picture of the Il-76 engine testbed, where its three D-30 engines looked bigger but was just cowlings open for maintenance. In the case of this Y-20, it could be just that its four D-30 cowlings are all open for maintenance, but at the same time they don't look quite the same size as the D-30s on the Il-76 from 2016... so who knows


Could be maitenance works on the engines, where the sidepanels of the engines are upfolded.
 
Top