Shaanxi Aircraft and Antonov are establishing a Beijing engineering centre to work on the Shaanxi Y8-F600 and an updated version of the Y-5 transport aircraft as well as a new 30t and 60t cargo aircraft.

The Shaanxi-made Y8-F600 is a medium-sized freighter derivative of the Antonov An-12 and the Y-5, made by Shijiazhuang Aircraft Industries, is a derivative of the Antonov An-2.

Liang Zhenhe, a vice-president Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) II, the parent company of both Shaanxi and Shijiazhuang, says the first Y8-F600 was scheduled to be built in time for first flight this year, but the schedule has been delayed by 12 months to make improvements and modifications to the design with the help of Antonov.

Liang says AVIC II, with the help of the new engineering centre in Beijing, also plans to develop two new cargo aircraft.

One will be a standard freighter with a take-off weight of 30t and the other will be a four-engine freighter that can land and take off from land and water and has a take-off weight of 60t, he says.

Liang says following last month's fires in Greece, China's government decided to develop the 60t freighter for firefighting missions.

He also says the new engineering centre in Beijing will be helping AVIC II in its bid to get a share of the work on China's new large commercial passenger aircraft programme.

China's State Council decided in February that the country will make large commercial aircraft seating at least 150 passengers and that AVIC I and II will each work on the programme.

The government has yet to decide what AVIC I and II will be doing, but Liang confirms AVIC II has had discussions with Russian engine maker NPO Saturn about developing a powerplant for the large commercial aircraft.

But he adds these discussions are only preliminary and he says AVIC II has also spoken to Western aircraft engine manufacturers.

AVIC II Y8 Freighter
 Shaanxi is to update the Y8 and develop two freighters with Antonov

Source: Flight International