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Comparison between Boeing C-17 Globemaster and the China Y-20 Kunpeng

Comparison between Boeing C-17 Globemaster and the China Y-20 Kunpeng

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and the China Y-20 Kunpeng stand out as significant contenders in the domain of military transport aircraft, playing pivotal roles in bolstering the strategic airlift capacities of their respective nations. Both aircraft serve as indispensable components, contributing to the seamless mobility of troops and cargo for a range of operational scenarios.

In this video, we will conduct an in-depth comparison between two formidable aircraft, showcasing their versatility and reliability in meeting crucial logistics and transport needs on a global level. Join us as we explore the distinctive features and capabilities of both aircraft providing insights into their respective roles in military transport and strategic airlift operations.

y-20 kunpeng

Xi’an Y-20 Kunpeng, is a substantial military transport aircraft developed by the Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation. The inception of the Y-20 project in July 2007 marked the commencement of an ambitious initiative. On January 26, 2013, it made its first flight, showcasing years of hard work and development. One of the distinctive features of the  Y-20 is its utilization of composite materials in various components.

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft developed by McDonnell Douglas for the United States Air Force (USAF) during the 1980s and early 1990s. It inherits its name from two predecessors with piston-engined designs. Renowned for its outstanding short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability, the C-17 excels in operating from airfields with restricted runway lengths, including those with austere or unpaved surfaces.

Length and Dimensions:

The China Y-20 Kunpeng boasts a length of 47 meters (154 feet 2 inches), while the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is longer, measuring 174 feet (53 meters).

The Y-20’s wingspan stands at 50 meters, while the C-17’s wingspan is marginally wider at 169 feet and 9.6 inches.

Crew and Capacity:

The Y-20 accommodates a crew of three and boasts a cargo capacity of 66,000 kg (145,505 lb). In comparison, the C-17 features a crew of three and has an impressive cargo capacity of 170,900 lb (77,519 kg).

Weight and MTOW

The Y-20 exhibits an empty weight of 100,000 kg (220,462 lb) and a maximum takeoff weight of 220,000 kg (485,017 lb).

Conversely, the C-17 is notably heavier, with an empty weight of 282,500 lb and a maximum takeoff weight of 585,000 lb.

Engine

Y-20 powered by four Shenyang WS-20 turbofan engines, each generating 140 kN (31,000 lbf) thrust. C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW2000 turbofan engines, each delivering 40,440 lbf (179.9 kN) thrust.

Performance and Range:

In terms of speed, the Y-20 achieves a maximum speed of Mach 0.75 and a cruise speed of 630 km/h (390 mph). On the other hand, the C-17 operates at a cruise speed of 450 knots (520 mph)

Y-20 range extends up to 7,800 km (4,800 mi) and a ferry range of 10,000 km (6,200 mi). On the other hand, C-17 has a range of 4,480 km (2,780 mi) demonstrating a difference in both speed and operational range.

Service Ceiling: The Y-20 Kunpeng boasts a service ceiling of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet), while the C-17 Globemaster III reaches a higher service ceiling of 45,000 feet (14,000 meters)

The Y-20 incorporates composite materials in various components, showcasing its commitment to advanced engineering. Developed by Guilin Aerospace Co., the aircraft features eight distinct relay types tailored for its systems.

Its internal configurations are versatile, including an option for a separate passenger deck above the cargo bay. To enhance offloading efficiency in challenging terrains, the Y-20 is equipped with ceiling-mounted rails, especially useful when the rear ramp is inaccessible.

C-17 boasts an exceptionally spacious rear cargo opening and a robust ramp, surpassing even the strength of the C-5’s ramp while offering a significantly larger aperture. C-17 stands out for its extensive airdrop capabilities. The C-17 can execute diverse airdrop missions, accommodating troops through both static line and free fall methods, along with various equipment airdrop systems such as CDS, LVAD, dual row pallets, door bundles, and more.

The Y-20 integrates a distinctive design featuring a shoulder wing, T-tail configuration, rear cargo-loading assembly, and robust retractable landing gear with three rows, each consisting of a pair of wheels, totaling six wheels on each side. Equipped with four large LCD Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) displays, enhancing the aircraft’s avionic capabilities and providing advanced visual information for the flight crew.

C-17’s cargo floor is equipped with rollers for palletized cargo, but it can be flipped to provide a flat surface suitable for vehicles and other rolling stock. Cargo is loaded through a spacious aft ramp, accommodating various rolling stock such as a 69-ton (63-metric ton) M1 Abrams main battle tank, as well as other armored vehicles, trucks, trailers, and palletized cargo.

On the other hand, Y-20 features a spacious four-meter tall cargo hold capable of lifting up to 66 tons and transporting either 2 Type 15 tanks or 1 Type 99A tank over an impressive distance of 7,800 km. The aircraft offers versatile internal configurations, including an option with a separate passenger deck positioned above the cargo area. To facilitate efficient offloading in scenarios where the rear ramp is inaccessible, the Y-20 incorporates ceiling-mounted rails.

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Aerospace

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan is embarking on an ambitious endeavor to bolster its air defense capabilities with the acquisition and potential local production of the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet.

Talks are reportedly underway between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, the developer of the FC-31, signaling a significant leap forward for Pakistan’s military aviation prowess.

The FC-31, a mid-sized, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter, promises advanced air combat capabilities, including stealth technology that surpasses anything currently in the PAF‘s fleet. With plans to retire the JF-17 production line by 2030, the FC-31 could emerge as the new flagship aircraft, offering unmatched performance and versatility.

Experts speculate that Pakistan’s interest in the FC-31 could also signal broader implications for the international market. As China develops both land and carrier versions of the FC-31, analysts foresee it becoming a cost-effective alternative to pricier options like the F-35, potentially challenging the dominance of the US aerospace industry and reshaping global strategic rivalries.

Adding complexity to the deal is China’s push for the WS-13 engine, previously rejected for the JF-17 but now under consideration for both the FC-31 and future JF-17 variants. Engine standardization could streamline logistical and maintenance processes for the PAF, further enhancing the appeal of the FC-31.

While negotiations continue, the success of the FC-31 acquisition and local production hinges on several factors, including the outcome of the WS-13 engine discussions. Pakistan’s pursuit of the FC-31 comes amidst its eagerness to replace its aging fleet, with previous attempts to upgrade its F-16s by the United States due to geopolitical pressures.

Amidst these developments, Pakistan previous interest in the Turkish-made Kaan fifth-generation fighter underscores its eagerness to replace its aging fleet. Despite previous attempts to secure upgrades for its F-16s from the United States, Pakistan’s quest for advanced aerial capabilities has led it to explore alternative avenues, with the FC-31 emerging as a promising contender in its pursuit of air superiority.

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Aviation

China’s Indigenous HH-100 UAS Successfully Completes First Flight

China’s Indigenous HH-100 UAS Successfully Completes First Flight

In a significant milestone for China’s aviation industry, the HH-100 aerial commercial unmanned transportation system successfully completed its maiden flight, as announced by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on Wednesday.

The HH-100 demonstrator took to the skies for its inaugural flight at a general aviation airport in Xi’an, located in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. This successful test was conducted by AVIC, China’s leading aircraft manufacturer, marking a pivotal step in the development of the country’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities.

Developed independently by AVIC XAC Commercial Aircraft Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of AVIC based in Xi’an, the HH-100 consists of two main components: an unmanned aerial vehicle and a ground-based command-and-control station. This innovative system is designed to offer a cost-effective, high-payload solution for various transportation and logistical needs.

The HH-100 is notable for its low cost and large tonnage capabilities. With a designed maximum take-off weight of 2,000 kilograms and a payload capacity of 700 kilograms, it can transport approximately 4 cubic meters of cargo over a range of 520 kilometers. The drone’s maximum cruise speed is 300 kilometers per hour, and it can operate at altitudes up to 5,000 meters.

Primarily intended for feeder logistics, the HH-100 is also equipped to participate in a variety of other roles, including forest and grassland firefighting, fire monitoring, transportation and delivery of rescue materials, relay communication, and artificial rain enhancement. This versatility makes it a valuable asset in both commercial and emergency response operations.

Looking ahead, AVIC plans to develop a series of products based on the HH-100 platform, with models capable of carrying 5 tons, 10 tons, and even larger payloads. These future developments aim to meet the growing demand for large-scale, intelligent, low-cost, and highly reliable unmanned cargo planes.

The HH-100’s successful first flight marks an important achievement for AVIC and China’s aviation sector, showcasing the potential of homegrown technology to advance the country’s capabilities in unmanned aerial transportation. With its impressive range of features and applications, the HH-100 is poised to play a significant role in enhancing air-ground transportation connectivity and addressing various logistical challenges in the region.

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Aviation

Russia’s Venture into Spare Parts Production for Western-Made Jets

Russia's Venture into Spare Parts Production for Western-Made Jets

In a strategic move to mitigate the challenges posed by the shortage of spare parts for foreign-made passenger aircraft, Russian carriers are charting a new course by turning to domestic alternatives. At the forefront of this shift are two groundbreaking projects unveiled at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6.

Leading the charge is Protektor Group, a prominent Russian MRO provider, which has committed a substantial investment of RUB3.5 billion ($39 million) to establish a cutting-edge facility near Moscow Domodedovo airport.

This facility is slated to specialize in the production of spare parts tailored for Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 narrowbody jets, with operations expected to commence in 2026. With a projected workforce of 800 employees, the facility aims to address the pressing demand for critical components in the aviation sector.

This initiative aligns seamlessly with broader governmental endeavors outlined in June 2022, which envisioned the manufacture of 1,036 airplanes using solely Russian parts by 2030. Bolstering this ambition, the state allocated a substantial sum of 283 billion rubles (U.S. $3.1 billion) in January 2024 to propel the production of 609 aircraft, with a particular emphasis on medium-haul models.

Protektor’s trajectory towards this pivotal milestone has been marked by notable achievements, including receiving production organization approval from Rosaviatsia in 2024. Prior to this, the company had earned certification for the overhaul of landing gear for Boeing 737s, solidifying its position as a trusted entity in aircraft maintenance.

Beyond the realm of spare parts production, the Russian aviation industry is poised for a significant transformation as it gears up to redefine its identity. Sergey Chemezov, the head of Rostec, the state-owned conglomerate overseeing aerospace, engineering, and defense sectors, has unveiled ambitious plans to resurrect the renowned ‘Yakovlev‘ brand. This rebranding initiative extends across the spectrum of Russian-made airliners, signaling a new era of innovation and prominence.

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