China's transport, tanker & heavy lift aircraft


SinoSoldier

Colonel
Can someone help translate this one?
Credit to : [email protected]

The WS-20 is progressing smoothly. According to the folks there, it (WS-20) has been the smoothest to develop so far. The WS-20 will be installed on the Y-20 next year, after which the Y-20 would be able to start flying immediately. All of the testing has already been completed.

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goat89

New Member
Registered Member
The WS-20 is progressing smoothly. According to the folks there, it (WS-20) has been the smoothest to develop so far. The WS-20 will be installed on the Y-20 next year, after which the Y-20 would be able to start flying immediately. All of the testing has already been completed.

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In this regard, and out of curiosity, is it unusual for a plane's 'frame' to be designed and manufactured first, while the actual engine developed 'later'? I just realised the Y-20, currently, uses a Soviet-era designed Aviadvigatel PS-30. I would say it makes sense as engines are more complicated than an aircraft frame?
 

SinoSoldier

Colonel
In this regard, and out of curiosity, is it unusual for a plane's 'frame' to be designed and manufactured first, while the actual engine developed 'later'? I just realised the Y-20, currently, uses a Soviet-era designed Aviadvigatel PS-30. I would say it makes sense as engines are more complicated than an aircraft frame?
Quite commonplace, actually, since the airframe can be future-proofed such that it has space and modular nature to accommodate future upgrades & modifications. The J-20, J-11B, etc., all have or plan to have different engines installed in the near future.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Simple: get rid of the Il-78. It is if anything more expensive to operate (same number of a closely related engine design, considerably more complex airframe mechanically due to 'off-road' landing gear and STOL flap system), performs significantly worse and, until an ungodly amount of money was spent on establishing one, did not have a domestic production line. An expensive lemon.
Those are the systems that Sold the IL76 and IL78 globally. The ability to land anywhere.
 

Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
Those are the systems that Sold the IL76 and IL78 globally. The ability to land anywhere.
The Il-76, sure (it came with the territory as a military transport) - the Il-78 however sold on the inaccessibility of anything better. If another platform without these features but significantly better payload/range had been available, that alternative would have taken its place.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
In this regard, and out of curiosity, is it unusual for a plane's 'frame' to be designed and manufactured first, while the actual engine developed 'later'? I just realised the Y-20, currently, uses a Soviet-era designed Aviadvigatel PS-30. I would say it makes sense as engines are more complicated than an aircraft frame?
Not that unusual. It is usually a lot quicker to spin out a prototype air frame than a prototype engine. Especially in aircraft with podded engines they are typically not that complicated to replace in later batches. It used to be common for civilian airliners to have like 2-3 engine manufacturer options for the same model not that long ago. Even for military aircraft, the first combat jet fighters had podded engines, like the Me 262. It initially had the BMW 003 and later the Jumo 004 engine. Another reason for the podded engines back then was the low lifetime of the engines which meant they had to be replaced often. The major limitation typically is ground clearance, but the Y-20 was rather obviously designed to carry wider diameter engines than the ones it does now, because of its high wing so no issues there. It can be more of an issue in airplanes with mid or low mounted wings like the Sukhoi Superjet.

Which is not to say that airframe design cannot be complicated either. It is just that there are conservative design solutions, at least for subsonic airliners, plus you could just build the whole thing out of Al or even better Al-Li. Al-Li is 1990s technology and is almost as good as composites in terms of performance sometimes even better. There are a lot of machine tools available for it now. Composites can be more or less hard to manufacture depending on the particular composite technology you use. Fiberglass or GLARE are well known in the industry by now. Carbon-fiber composites are starting to become commonplace but making large single piece structures can still be problematic. The worst aspect of the composite materials is how to ensure proper inspections and proper quality control.

With regards to the WS-20 it seems to be taking forever to me. I certainly hope we'll see it flying in the Y-20 next year like @SinoSoldier said.
 

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