Hu Xiaofeng, general manager of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, recently said that Chinese air force would soon display a prototype of large aircraft with gross weight of 200 tons (442,000 lb) by the end of the year.
No details have been given, but according to vpk-news.ru, the new transport China has been developing, Y-20, has a gross weight of 220 ton (486,000 lb) with a maximum payload of 60 ton (132,500 lb). Its speed is Mach 0.7 (467 mph/751 km/h) at a high attitude of 8,000 meters and 630 km/h (392 mph) at low attitude.
The payload of the Y-20 prototype is 55 ton but after improvement will be raised to 65 ton, higher than that of Russian Il-76MF (55 ton) but lower than that of US C-17 (78 ton). Its length is 47 meter; wingspan, 45 meter; and service ceiling, 13,000 meter.
The prototype will use Russian D-30KP engine that China imported from Russia not long ago. The engine is not powerful enough and China once had the intention to buy PS-90 engine that Russia has newly developed for its Il-476 transport.
At present, the largest transport aircraft China has is Il-76MD imported from Russia, which China used as a platform for the development of its A-50 early warning aircraft, Il-78 refueling aircraft and KJ-2000 early warning aircraft.
China ordered 38 Il-76s, but due to disputes over price and manners of production and delivery, none of the aircrafts has been delivered to China. China has to develop its own large transport aircrafts.
According to the Russian media, China planned to carry out virgin flight of Y-20 on January 1 this year but it was delayed for some reasons.
Sources: PLA Daily, vpk-news.ru, mil.huanqiu.com