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An-225 Transport Aircraft

100 ton planeOutlook Weekly via Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese), translated by China Digital Times (CDT), reported on March 29, 2006: "Developing large airplanes, with 100-ton and greater cargo or 150-passenger and greater capacity, has become a key component in promoting the development of aeronautics industry in China's 11th " Five-Year Plan." China will, at an appropriate timing during the 11th "Five-Year Plan," launch the R&D of large airplanes, said Jin Zhuanglong, spokesperson of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, or COSTIND."

But this is a mis-translation. " The development of aircraft included in the national medium-and long-term science and technology development plan and the platform for "25" of the plan, it should be said is this based on a clear understanding of the situation at home and abroad of the Government decision. "Was involved in the Organization of the State Council's" large aircraft project demonstration group "of the Central Policy Research Office Wang Chaoping in acceptance of the lookout, a researcher at an interview with Newsweek say with certainty. The so-called large aircraft, refers to the take-off gross weight of more than 100 tons of transport aircraft, including military and civil large transport planes, including trunk passenger aircraft of more than 150 seats. It is the main civil aviation's most widely used models."

The initial suggestion that the "100-ton" figure referenced the airplane's cargo capacity led to speculation that China was planning to build an analog of the Antonov AN-124-100M-150, currently the world's largest transport aircraft, with a maximum payload of 150 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of about 400 tons.

Various Chinese domestic media reported 30 August 2016 that Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Antonov state-owned enterprises reached consensus at Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. China signed a cooperation agreement between the two sides on the world's largest transport aircraft. It would provide China with the large and global lift that not even the US has possessed, except by rental, said Peter Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at New America who tracks Chinese military technology on his Popular Science blog. Its large enough to carry helicopters, tanks, artillery, even other aircraft.

The Chinese An-225 will enter service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as a super heavy cargo lifter and will give the PLAAF the worldwide reach it currently lacks. Heavy and outsized military hardware such as tanks, helicopters and artillery can be carried on this aircraft.

After signing the agreement, it was reported that China Aviation Industry Corporation had acquired the An-225 technical, drawings and property rights. Several officials from Luzhou City, Sichuan and Guangxi Guigang, also attended the event. Along with the China Airspace Industry Group, they signed an agreement to build the An-225 aircraft production base. Accordance with the relevant domestic media reported that AVIC President Zhang Yousheng said the production base will be built is the world's single largest scale, matching the most complete, most technologically advanced integrated base, but also the world's large transport aircraft.

Chinese Aviation Industry Corporation of China truly has the ability to create very large transport aircraft. But insiders bluntly state that large aircraft manufacturing is a precision technology industry, with upstream and downstream industry chain involving a very wide range of comprehensive strength requirements. The national support to promote the central enterprises was cautious.

However, it was reported 31 August 2016 a day later that Antonov company in the "Ukrainian Pravda" on the claims made in this conference, "relevant (Antonov) sold to China Airlines An-225 aircraft ownership of the message is not true, we do not sell property, details regarding the follow-up will be issued." Antonov's official message in an August 31 release said Antonov and AVIC signed an agreement on An-225 cooperation. Antonov said the company signed with China on An-225 aircraft cooperative project divided into two phases, the first step is to complete the construction of the second An-225 aircraft, and delivery to Chinese Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC); the second step is in the Antonov company's authorized joint production of the model aircraft in China." Construction of the second An-225 Mriya airplane started in 1987, when its airframe was assembled, particularly its fuselage and wings. According to some reports, the airplane was 70% completed.

China will also build a third An-225, this one from scratch, with the assistance of Ukrainian engineers and experts. China intended to fly the home grown An-225 by 2020. It is also expected to give the aircraft a Chinese designation. There appeared to be no plan to build a fourth aircraft but China might choose to do that at a later date once it's gained enough experience.

Antonov reported 31 August 2016 that on August 30, 2016, ANTONOV Company included into Ukroboronprom SC and Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC) signed Cooperation agreement on the AN-225 program. This statement did not mention the property transfer information. Antonov said, for this cooperation agreement, both sides expressed their willingness to long-term cooperation, but the two preceding stages required cooperation the two sides signed a separate contract to perform. A number of foreign media outlets said that the Ukrainian company had allegedly reassigned An-225 intellectual property rights to China. Some Chinese media reported that China Airspace and Antonov signed a cooperation agreement on August 30. China was reported to have acquired the right of ownership of the An-225, including the use of blueprints and licenses, under the agreement. However, Antonov denied out-licensing for the Mriya aircraft.

"Proposals are being prepared to draw up an agreement on finalizing construction and modernizing a second An-225 'Mriya' plane at Antonov State Company facilities. AICC is the customer. So, Antonov State Company is fulfilling the primary task of an aircraft plant - construction and delivery of a plane to a customer," the company said. "A contract on joint mass production of the modernized plane in China under an Antonov license will be prepared in the future; that project will involve not only Antonov State Company but also other enterprises of the Ukrainian aircraft industry," it said. "The rights of the An-225 'Mriya' certificate holder, including An-225 intellectual property rights, will not be reassigned by Antonov State Company to the Chinese side," the report said. "A combination of high intellectual potential and unique aircraft design experience of Antonov State Company and the broad capacities of China's industry will put these agreements into life. In addition to funding, Ukraine will be guaranteed international cooperation and work in conjunction with global industrial majors who may join this project," the company said.

The An-225 transport plane is the world's largest transport aircraft, known as "super-air giant," Ukraine has one An-225 transport aircraft originally developed by the Soviet-era Antonov design Bureau, plans to use Soviet space program equipment transport. The existing An-225 can haul 250 tons of cargo powered by its six ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, each delivering 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) of thrust. The An-225 transport aircraft can carry oversized cargo, designed to reach maximum load of 300 tons, the maximum endurance capacity to 13,000 kilometers. Currently, only one An-225 aircraft was in flight status, due to insufficient funds, and the narrow field of application, the second frame had not been completed due to the halt in construction.

Talks on the purchase of An-225 technologies have been going on for several years. And the Chinese really need this plane, because it remains a trending model of our time, expert Vladimir Popov told the VZGLYAD newspaper in October 2019, commenting on Chinese media reports about Ukraines readiness to transfer technology and documentation to Beijing, the world's largest An-225 Mriya aircraft. Why are the Chinese interested in the An-225? Because they see him not as a giant transport carrier for their army and commercial cargo delivery, but as an air platform for launching rocket and space systems into orbit. After all, Mriya in the USSR was built under the launches of the reusable space shuttle Buran, Vladimir Popov, the honored military pilot of Russia, recalled.

According to him, if the transfer of technology does take place, the Chinese will have to modify the aircraft taking into account the requirements of the 21st century. It is necessary to modernize navigation equipment, communications equipment, that is, satellite navigation, to put in place newer systems of inertial sensors. They also need to resolve the issue with engines, because in Ukraine Motor Sich can only repair these engines. The rest is a beautiful aircraft, which still remains a trending model of our time, said Popov.

At the same time, the main "secret" that Ukraine can share with China is the unique technology of designing and manufacturing giant aircraft. To debug the production of such an aircraft is worth a lot. But Im not sure about the ability of Ukrainian specialists to fully transfer these technologies to the Chinese, because the generation of leading aircraft manufacturers and designers has gone into oblivion, and the rest have emigrated to Russia, Europe and China, the source explained. But they can directly transfer iron and some paper media - that is, design and production documentation. But the Chinese will have to do the rest on their own, Popov emphasized.

He also recalled that the Mriya aircraft, as well as the An-124 Ruslan, were created in the deep cooperation of the USSR production systems. Its good that in Russia these technologies are revived and used for their intended purpose today. And closer to the 2030s, if necessary, we can independently build an analogue of the An-225 aircraft, the military pilot predicted. And so that our Ukrainian brothers do not worry that we are assembling a similar plane without their knowledge, we can call it not by the name of Antonov, but by the name of Tupolev. Because in cooperation with Ukraine this aircraft is unlikely to be produced, the expert concluded.

As the newspaper VZGLYAD previously reported, the Ukrainian Design Bureau named after Academician A.G. Ivchenko can transfer to China the most important technological developments on the world's largest transport aircraft An-225 Mriya. According to Sohu, if China receives at its disposal the most important technological developments on this aircraft, this will bring its mobile deployment capabilities and strategic transportation potential to a global level.

It was reported by on 16 October 2019 that following the transfer of D-18T engine technology from Ukrainian Madachi to China, another well-known Ukrainian aviation design agency, Yvchenko-Progress Design Bureau, is very likely to transfer the core technology of the An-225 transport aircraft to China. It can be said that once the technology transfer of the An-225 is successful, it will bring a strong driving force to the R&D and upgrade of China's domestic transport aircraft, and its impact and significance are very significant.

Once China has mastered the core technology of An-255, its rapid deployment capability and strategic transportation capacity will be upgraded to the world's leading level, and it will also save a lot of time, labor and capital costs for China's domestic transport aircraft research and development.

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Page last modified: 23-10-2019 18:33:16 ZULU