China military report: Photos display, Y -9 transport aircraft produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Industry (Group) Co., Ltd. appeared on the airport of Flight Test Research Institute of China, which shows that this type of aerotransport is on test. The aircraft is a alternative of long-awaited Y -8 medium transport, and also the latest reformed aerotransport of An-12 transport aircraft developed by Soviet-era Antonov Design Bureau.
The conceptual design of Y -8X transport aircraft has been displayed in 2002 Zhuhai Air Show, this 30-ton payload medium transport aircraft is the predecessor of Y -9 . In that air show, A staff member disclosed that Y -8X is intended to tocompetite with Lockheed - Martin C-130J.
When 2005 Beijing air show, the conceptual design of Y -8X has evolved into the concept of Y -9: payload 20-tons, powered by four Wojiang FWJ-6C turboprop engines, and equipped with 6-bladed JL-4 composite propellers. A brochure shows Y -9's ferry range with max payload reached 42 km, it can transport 98 soldiers, the largest single throw weight is 8.2 tons. Allegedly, the weight of PLA's ZBD-03 airborne infantry combat vehicle is 8.2 tons.
Shaanxi Aircraft Group applied a number of technical improvements for Y -9 transport to the modified aircrafts of a series of radar early warning aircrafts appeared in 2005 -2006.
In 2005, the staffers of Ukraine Antonov Design Bureau disclosed, they was hired as the design consultants of the transport aircraft developed by Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Group and Xi'an Aircraft Company. New wing design and manufacture of new composite fuselage all need Antonov Design Bureau's technology. These two features are used in the modified early warning aircrafts, and the new type of Y -9 transport aircraft is installed a rear-mounted pedal.
As the previous several Y -9 prototypes have been tested and validated, the test time of this Y -9 transport aircraft is likely to be shorter, it's expected to quickly put into production. Over the years, people have stressed the lack of strategic and tactical transport capacity is the weaknesses of the PLA, the PLA should therefore be expected to purchase a large number of Y -9 transport aircrafts and the payload 60 tons Y -20 transport aircrafts with turbofan engines that China XAC will disclose.