China's transport, tanker & heavy lift aircraft


crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
In an ideal world, both the aew (and other electronics heavy variant) and tanker would use a narrower fuselage, devoid of weight penalties that come with reinforced structure that a transport plane needs... but that's not likely to happen anytime soon. And when it does, it might rather be in a form of a commercial airliner airframe.
Of course. But that said I'm not sure about the C919's prospects to be used for AEW, and the CR929 isn't coming anytime soon... I doubt we'd be allowed to modify Boeing or Airbus aircraft for AEW or tanker missions within this decade either. Given the limited amount of Il-76 tanker and AEW variants we have in inventory, wouldn't the Y-20 serve as a good stop gap until we can find a more ideal airframe?
 

Josh Luo

Senior Member
Registered Member
You once again beat me by a minute! ;) ... but I would say this is it!
View attachment 65780
This is arguably more significant that the WS-10 series installed on J-20 and J-10C. This is because while the WS-10/15 series are meant for fighter jets only, the WS-20 could easily be modified to power the C919 and other commercial airliners should Washington or Brussels cut off engine supplies to China. In other words, while the WS-10 solves China's military engine gap, the WS-20 has far great positive externalities for China's defense, high-tech sector, and the overall economy for decades to come. Even in the military field alone, the WS-20 be used to power the next generation tanker, AWACS, maritime surveillance ASW aircraft, intercontinental strategic bomber, etc. The potentials for the WS-20 will be limitless.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
This is arguably more significant that the WS-10 series installed on J-20 and J-10C. This is because while the WS-10/15 series are meant for fighter jets only, the WS-20 could easily be modified to power the C919 and other commercial airliners should Washington or Brussels cut off engine supplies to China. In other words, while the WS-10 solves China's military engine gap, the WS-20 has far great positive externalities for China's defense, high-tech sector, and the overall economy for decades to come. Even in the military field alone, the WS-20 be used to power the next generation tanker, AWACS, maritime surveillance ASW aircraft, intercontinental strategic bomber, etc. The potentials for the WS-20 will be limitless.
Commercial aviation economics would require a more efficient engine than the WS-20 probably is. WS-20 may also not be very serviceable. It may be a high bypass turbofan, but it’s still built for military, not commercial, requirements.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Nope. Commercial aviation economics would require a far more efficient engine. WS-20 may also not be very serviceable. It may be a high bypass turbofan, but it’s still built for military, not commercial, requirements.
The application of WS-20 on C919 would only be "useful" in a circumstance if the PLA really wanted a military specific C919 with fully domestic subsystems and if they weren't willing to wait for CJ1000A.

For commercial purposes WS-20 certainly wouldn't be useful given how tight margins are for efficiency.
For military purposes WS-20 is fine on a PLA C919.


And WS-20 won't really be useful for strategic bombers either of course, because H-20 isn't going to use a high bypass engine and PLA aren't going to develop any large clean sheet bombers that could use high bypass engines, and H-6K family obviously can't be refit with WS-20s either.
 
great so now only remaining thing is to get confirmation of J15 batch 3 using indigenous engines ?

this means all Chinese aircraft from fighters, attack and cargo use Chinese engines

KJ-600 has taken off this year and also what remains is really the H20

I can live with that leave something for 2021
And heli, including Z-10 and Z-20 and all warships engines ... not bad really ;)
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Of course. But that said I'm not sure about the C919's prospects to be used for AEW, and the CR929 isn't coming anytime soon... I doubt we'd be allowed to modify Boeing or Airbus aircraft for AEW or tanker missions within this decade either. Given the limited amount of Il-76 tanker and AEW variants we have in inventory, wouldn't the Y-20 serve as a good stop gap until we can find a more ideal airframe?
True, it does not look likely there will be a better platform than Y20 in the next 10 years to come. It's not a great platform, but it's the only one out there that can do the job to satisfying degree. (the accent on the smaller Y9 as main AEW platform work shows just why is Y20 too big for some roles)

CR929 is likely not going to be ready before 2030 and even then it's not guaranteed all parts are going to be domestic, thus allowing for the airframe to be used for military purposes. Plus, CR929 is really too big, definitely for surveillance/elint/ew, and even for aerial tanker purposes it's a bit over that sweet spot, so it's questionable just how much more efficient it'd be over a Y20 tanker.

CR919 is on the cusp of being ready, but it suffers from non domestic parts which is likely going to preclude it from military service for the next 5 to 10 years. And even then, tanker variant would be too small, a worse option than Y20 tanker. For surveillance/elint/ew though it could be just the right size. Some day in the future when it's fully domestic.

Which is why i am sometimes questioning the validity of making a dedicated Y20 based plane that'd not be a transport but would serve other purposes. Of course, it'd most likely be too expensive to develop for the number of airframes needed... But if for some reason China does want 200 tanker/aew/other platforms in the next 10 years (unlikely, i know) then it might be worthwhile.

It doesn't need to be fully optimized, as then one would really talk about a commercial airliner. So the wing, engines, the tail section and the nose would likely stay. Even the landing gear could stay in good part, minus an axle or so, as rough runway requirement might come in handy for strategic assets. But not optimizing the fuselage structure to hold 50+ tons in one small area, not making it so wide, that's bound to shave some tens of tons. On top less drag. And high positioned wing could even allow for some useful sensor placement on the fuselage, in certain variants. landing gear nacelles would still protrude quite a bit, but as said, optimization would have its limits when it comes to cost effectiveness.
 

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