Japan plans to manufacture commercial cargo aircraft, increasing competition in future against Boeing.

A spokesman in Tokyo for Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ (KHI) aerospace division says the company plans to make a commercial version of the Kawasaki C-X military transport currently in development.

Japan C-X 
Japan to manufacture the Kawasaki C-X, a medium-sized high-wing military transport aircraft, as a commercial cargo aircraft

But he says the company’s first priority is completing the military aircraft so work on the commercial version is likely to only start towards the end of this decade. 

The C-X is a medium-sized high-wing military transport aircraft powered by General Electric CF6 engines.

Unlike commercial cargo aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, the C-X has a cargo loading system that allows vehicles to be driven from the tarmac into the cargo hold.

March last year Kawasaki assembled one C-X airframe and delivered it to the Japan Defence Agency’s (JDA) Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) for static testing.

Japan’s military plans to use C-X aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Kawasaki C-1 and Lockheed Martin C-130s.

Most of the commercial aircraft in Japan are currently Boeing aircraft and companies such as Kawasaki are industrial partners on many of Boeing’s aircraft programmes. Kawasaki, for example, makes some of the composite fuselage sections for the new Boeing 787.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com