New pictures have emerged showing a new Chinese military transport that is purportedly the Xian Aircraft Y-20 heavy transport.
The first known appearance of the Y-20 comes as the AVIC subsidiary specializing in commercial and military transports was expected on Chinese aviation web sites to launch flight testing of the Y-20 this year.
The pictures reveal a four-engined, high-wing transport with a T-tail that appears sized between a Boeing C-17 and Airbus A400M.
The aircraft is equipped with jet engines with a lower bypass ratio fan inlet - possibly the same Soloviev D-30s that currently power Tupolev Tu-154Ms and Ilyushin Il-76Ds. The production version of the Y-20 is expected to transition to high-bypass ratio, Chinese-made WS-20 engines, depending upon their availability.
The Y-20 pictures follow the revelation of dozens of new military aircraft types introduced by Chinese airframers in recent years, including new fighters such as the Chengdu J-10 and J-20 and Shenyang J-21.
Each of the aircraft types appeared first on Chinese web sites long before their existence was acknowledged by government sources.
Xian also makes a series of regional turboprops, including the MA60 and MA600, and builds the wings and fuselage of the ARJ21 regional jet.
If the Y-20 is transitioned into production, it will join a rapidly growing transport fleet for the Chinese air force (PLAAF). The PLAAF now operates a fleet of 20 Ilyushin Il-76 strategic transports, with another 30 on order.