28 January 2013

The Y-20: China Aviation Milestone Means New Power Projection

Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, The Y-20: China Aviation Milestone Means New Power Projection,” China Real Time Report (中国实时报), Wall Street Journal, 28 January 2013.

Escorted by a J-15 fighter and numbered “20001,” China’s domestically-produced Y-20 transport aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on Jan. 26 at the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)’s China Flight Test Establishment in Sha’anxi province, remaining airborne for an hour , according to state-run media reports. In an example of selective transparency to boost pride at home and credibility abroad, domestic media were rapidly notified of the Y-20’s test flight (see CCTV broadcast here and here) and Chinese military enthusiasts are energetically welcoming the news.

The authors acknowledge support and insights from an anonymous aerospace and defense expert.

For further background, see Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “Limited Liftoff Looming: Y-20 Transport Prepares for 1st Test Flight,” The Diplomat, 8 January 2013.