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Shaanxi Y-9 (Yun-9)

Shaanxi Y-9 (Yun-9) aircraft is a medium sized, medium range transport aircraft produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Company in China. The aircraft was developed as a stretched version of the Shaanxi Y-8F with greater payload and range. The Y-9 is considered China's attempt to build a C-130J class transport aircraft. The Y-9 is a medium-size tactical support aircraft that can be used for both military and civil flights. It is capable of carrying 98 armed soldiers or paratroopers, or 72 seriously wounded patients plus three medics.

The development of the Y-8X began in 2001 to meet the requirements of the PLA Air Force for a capable and advanced medium-size tactical transport aircraft to replace the ageing Y-8. The project aimed to develop a multi-purpose turboprop transport aircraft that approaches or in some aspects exceeds the performance of the U.S. C-130J. The development is believed to have been assisted by the Ukraine-based Antonov Aeronautical Scientific-technical Complex (ASTC) aircraft company.

A substantial redesign of the Shaanxi Y-8 (Chinese copy of the An-12 Cub), the aircraft was initially revealed with provisional specifications in model form to the public at the November 2002 Zhuhai Air Show under the name of Y-8X concept transport (initially dubbed Y-8U?). The design is believed to have benefited from SAC/Antonov agreement on Y-8F600 signed at that show. At the September 2005 International Aviation Expo held in Beijing, Shaanxi Aircraft Industry (Group) Co. Ltd unveiled its Y-9 multi-purpose transport aircraft design that had been downsized from the 2002 configuration. During the Beijing Expo, Shaanxi revealed more details about the Y-8X, now re-designated Y-9, to promote its use as civilian transport.

The development of Y-9 started officially in October 2005 and the construction of the first prototype (tail and head sections) started in 2006. However the project appeared to have been halted in 2007 due to shifting the production to the high priority High New series of special mission aircraft, as well as Y-8C transport aircraft. The developement of the Y-9 may have resumed in late 2008 after a two year delay, at which time the first prototype was expected to fly by 2011. The latest rumor claimed that Y-9 prototype made its maiden flight on November 5, 2010.

Compared to the Y-8, the new aircraft features a more spacious cargo cabin, fast loading/uploading system, improved WJ-6C turboprop engines, six-blade propellers, and a "glass cockpit". The aircraft will be powered by 4 WJ-6C turboprops (rated @ 5,100ehp each) with JL-4 6-blade propellers made of composite materials, which improve its high temperature and high altitude performance. It has a 4-crew cockpit featuring 6 color MFDs and EFIS. The aircraft is equipped with advanced communication, navigation, radar, EGWPS, collision avoidance systems to ensure safe flight under all weather conditions. The Y-9 's wings are high-mounted with four turboprop engines mounted under the wings' leading edges. The rear cargo door, which also serves as a ramp, allows cargo to be quickly loaded/unloaded. The tail flats and fin are mounted high. The aircraft has a two-wheel nose landing gear and two four-wheel main landing gears.

The payload requirement of the Y-9 includes a range of military vehicles, helicopters, cargo containers, pallets, and paratroopers. The Y-9 can air-drop paratroops and equipment either by parachute or gravity extraction. It can perform wither single or multiple airdrops of paratroopers and cargo. The aircraft can carry nine international standard pallets of 108" X 88" or eight 125" X 96", or 132 armed paratroopers.

Flight crew 4
Cargo cabin size (length/width/height) 16.2m/3.2m/2.35m
Empty weight 39,000kg
Overloading take-off weight 81,000kg
Maximum take-off weight65,000 kg / 77,000kg
Maximum landing weight 77,000kg
Operational empty weight39,000kg
Payload20t or 106 paratroopers

Normal 25,000kg;
Maximum 30,000kg;
132 armed paratroopers; or
vehicles and weapons
Loading capacityquick loading/unloading, can load nine international standard pallets of 108"88" or eight 125"96", low-altitude airdrop ability, airdrop weight of 20t once, max. single cargo weight (10t), airdrop of 132 parachutists at a time
Turboprop engines large power, lightweight, low consumption, high reliability, easy maintenance
propellersmade of advanced composite materials, high efficiency, low noise, light weight
max level speed650km/h
Cruising speed 550km/h / 600~650km/h
Cruising altitude8,000m- 9,000m
service ceiling 10,100m
Range2,200km 15t payload
Range5,000km max range
Range 7,800km Ferry range
Flight endurance 12 hours
Total body life 50000 flight hours / 20000 flight sortie/30 calendar years
Avionicsadvanced communication system, navigation system, radar system, EFIS, integrated engine indication system, flight management system (FMS), autopilot (AP), GPS / inertial navigation equipment, electrical system, etc




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