PLA Air Force (PLAAF) operational Y-20 Strategic Airlifters

Discussion in 'China' started by Martian, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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  3. curryman

    curryman Regular Member

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    There are rumors floating around China is planning to get 1,000 of these aircraft. Don't know if this is just marketing BS from the manufacturer or not, but does anyone know if this true?
     
  4. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    IHS Jane's reported on the Chinese requirement for 1,000 Y-20 heavy transport planes.

    This is achievable over 40 years. Simply build 25 Y-20 cargo planes per year (which is about two per month).

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    China needs 'more than 1,000' Xian Y-20 transport aircraft | IHS Jane's

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  5. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    But will China really be making only Y-20 for next 40 years and will not make any other better Cargo Aircraft?
    This news sounds absurd.
     
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  6. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    The American C-130 Hercules cargo plane was first produced in 1954.

    The C-130E is still produced today.

    Since the American C-130 cargo plane has been in production for 62 years, it is reasonable to expect Chinese production of the Y-20 (and its upgraded variants) for the next 40 years.
     
  7. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    Well, info of any other Chinese Heavy Transport aircraft in development?
     
  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Y-20 commissioned on 6 July

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  9. Adioz

    Adioz Irregular member

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    Explain this to me:-

    The US military, which arguably would have the largest requirement of strategic airlift capacity (seeing as they have, by far, the largest global footprint of any military force on the planet), only has a 180 C-17 and 52 C-5 Strategic transport in service.

    Looking at that number, the PLAAF's alleged grand plan to have 1000 of these Y-20 in service seems B.S.
    @Martian could you please give me a rough breakup of what a 1000 200-ton transport aircraft will be used for?

    I'll make an attempt myself. I'll assume that 200 of these will be employed in various roles such as AWACS, Aerial Tanker, Maritime Surveillance, etc. The remaining 800 will be used to transport? what? where?
    That is roughly 200 tanks + 400 IFVs + 52,000 troops. Meaning 2 Armoured Divisions? To Alaska? Or Japan? Or India? Where? Do you really need that if you have a giant amphibious armada?

    The only reason they might need a 1000 is if they plan to make an airliner out of this military cargo plane.

    And then the article yammers on about a 300, 400 and then a 600 ton aircraft in the works. What would they be used for? Photo ops and special missions only, or will the be inducted in great numbers (~200?) as well?
     
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  10. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    You are getting confused between the total number of cargo aircraft built over 40 years and the number of cargo airplanes in service at any given time.

    The fuselage of aircraft becomes fatigued (e.g. micro-cracks from the stresses of takeoff, landing, turbulence, acceleration, etc.) over time. After two decades, an aircraft is usually retired.

    Thus, the total number of cargo aircraft in service at any given time (which does not include cargo aircraft undergoing maintenance, used for training, or upgrades) is fairly small.

    However, when you sum up the total number of aircraft built over 40 years, it is a huge number. Usually, old aircraft is retired every year. The replacement aircraft take their place. While the fleet number doesn't change, there is a steady inflow of new cargo aircraft and a matching outflow of retired aircraft.
     
  11. Adioz

    Adioz Irregular member

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    In simple terms, you mean to say:-
    • 1000 aircraft built over 40 years means 25 aircraft per year (assuming same production rate is sustained every year for the sake of simplicity)
    • You say that each of these will have a service life of 20 years.
    • The 25 built in year-1 will retire in year-21, and be replaced with those made in year-21.
    • By then, 500 aircraft will be built.
    • Thereafter, this number will be sustained for a further 20 years (as the number of aircraft due for retirement every year will be same as number of aircraft produced every year)
    In short, you mean to say that PLAAF will spend 20 years building up a fleet of 500 Y-20s and will further sustain this fleet for 20 years, after which all these planes will be retired progressively over another 20 years (with the last Y-20 being retired 60 years after they first entered service).

    First I'll assume that these aircraft will indeed have a service life of only 20 years after which the airframe will become unfit for operations.
    If so, What does the PLAAF need a fleet of 500 transport aircraft for? This is double of what the USAF has. (Assuming 100 of these are employed for non-transport duties such as AWACS, etc; which itself is a stretch.)

    Next, I'll challenge your assertion that the Y-20's airframe will have a design life of just 20 years.
    • The B-52 of USAF was built in 1955-63. A total of 739 were built in this period. Thereafter, the production line was shut and these aircraft are still operational and plan to remain operational till 2050.
    • I will concede you the fact that bombers do not fly as many missions as transport aircraft, and hence there airframes can have longer lives. Even so, 20 years is way too less of a time for an airframe.
    • IAF Il-76 have been around for longer than 30 years. They are still going strong.
    • C-17 Globemaster III were produced from 1995-2015. 279 were built and the production has been shut down. Does this mean USAF is retiring its oldest C-17s as we speak? No.
    • Even jet fighter airframes have lives of approximately 30 years.
    Maybe I am confused about something else. But 1000 Y-20 produced over 40 years means a fleet of more than 600 200-ton transport aircraft, which makes no sense to me. And your response stating that older Y-20 will be retired after a mere 20 years of service has only managed to raise my skepticism.
     
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  12. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Looks like it's a copy of the USAF C-17 Globemaster! o_O
     
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  13. AnantS

    AnantS Senior Member Senior Member

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    forward part resembles c 17 while back resembles IL 76. Anyway good effort from China
     
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  14. Shashank Sharma

    Shashank Sharma Regular Member

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    Perhaps they are also factoring in export orders.
     
  15. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is Chinese propaganda that they will buy a 1000 of these jets, IL 76 has close no around 960 with newer il 476 just reaching service. The Chinese would have to make a civilian, refueler, AWACS, EW, firefighters and all sought of special operation planes and export it huge no, which does not seem possible right now. They will at max make 200 of these
     
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