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Global Times

PLA's Y-9 transport aircraft makes record-breaking 40 hours flight

Global Times

By Liu Xuanzun Published: Sep 14, 2021 11:11 PM

In a recent mission abroad, a Y-9 transport aircraft of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) broke several records by taking off and landing in an airfield in a high-elevation plateau region and flying for nearly 40 consecutive hours and more than 10,000 kilometers, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday.

The aircraft is affiliated to an aviation regiment under the Air Force of the PLA Western Theater Command, which is also the first PLA unit that completed takeoff and landing operations with a domestically developed transport aircraft in an airport at an elevation above 2,438 meters, the report said.

Takeoff and landing in high-elevation plateau regions are affected by several factors, including challenging terrains and atmospheric pressure, which are very demanding of the aircraft's performances and the pilots' skills, CCTV said, noting that transport aircrafts require multiple pilots, also making cooperation challenging.

This proved that the Y-9 is a very sturdy and reliable aircraft and the pilots are well trained, a Beijing-based military expert who requested to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Tuesday.

A number of the PLA's special mission airplanes, including the KJ-500 early warning aircraft, Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft, share the similar base platform as the Y-9 since they were all developed from the Y-8 transport aircraft, the expert pointed out.

This means the other special mission variants could have similar characteristics as the Y-9, the expert said.

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