Mar 6, 2014
Flight tests of Xian Y-20 proceeding well
All goals have been achieved, specifically in areas such altitude and speed. One area of particular focus appears to be stability during flight.
Following its first flight in January 2013, there has been little official commentary about the Y-20. This contrasts with other high profile Chinese defence programmes, such as the routine flight testing aboard Beijing’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.
The performance of Y-20 is very high, and it can adapt to relatively hard conditions and can land at small airports in mountain areas. In its design, the adverse weather conditions of frigid zone, high heat area and plateau as well as the runway situation are fully considered.
Some sources,however, questions the Y-20’s ability to land on rough fields. Its two main landing gear bogies have six wheels each, the wheels are arranged in a two-two-two pattern from front-to back.
Among other large jet transports, the Boeing C-17, which was designed with rough-field capability in mind, has two six-wheel main bogies, but in a three-three configuration. Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76 has two eight-wheel main bogies, in a four-four configuration.