The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) received the first serial Y-20 military transport aircraft (serial number 11051) developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation. Soon, the second aircraft (serial number 11052) will be handed to the 12th Regiment of the 4th Transport Division at Qionglai, Chengdu.
The Y-20 relies on four Russian-made Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines. The warplane has a payload of 73 short tons and can carry heavy military equipment, for example, China’s largest tank ZTZ99.
An empty weight of the Y-20 is 110 short tons. That means this warplane is the largest military aircraft currently in production, it is larger than Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76. The Y-20 is smaller than Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III, Y-20’s empty weight is about 60,000 pounds less than the C-17 and its payload capacity is 25,000 pounds less. However, the production of C-17 Globemaster III was stopped in 2015, this makes the Y-20 the biggest aircraft that is currently manufacturing.