China’s new military transport plane exposed. And it looks like a C-17, An-70, A400M hybrid.

Posted by Alert5 today, the following image shows the first photographs of China’s new four-engine military airlifter.

The large military transport aircraft is allegedly designed Y-20 and, nose aside, its shape is almost identical to that shown in a series of artist’s impressions that have appeared on Chinese media outlets.

Indeed, the aircraft depicted in the detailed renderings you can find in this post seems to be a turbojet clone of the Airbus A400M Atlas four-engine turboprop, whereas the one depicted on the ground in the new pictures features a nose section inspired by the Antonov An-70.

Actually, inputs from several other aircraft types, including the Boeing C-17, can be found in the Y-20. In July 2009, a former Boeing employee was convicted of selling secret C-17 technical details to China.

It looks like an AWACS version of the Y-20 is also being envisaged.






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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • Should be, it’s probably built with the best American technology. But then again, it’s really built with a Chinese interpretation of the best American technology so who knows?

  1. Wonder how good the engines are as that’s still a weak point for China (they’re catching up fast in aviation technology though – too fast)!

    • I think your confused Kev. These planes use the same engines as commercial airliners. The Diplomat has a good outline of this here (

      My facts which I shared with the Diplomat suggest something similar in that they say its only 2 years after hefty investment where the Chinese can produce the super alloys that will handle the high G forces and turns where as my source stated it would be 20 years before they have the super allows needed before they can even start working on the machining techniques to produce an engine similar to the f135 or the saturn 41. If you follow the the avi then you know that they allready are producing a fourth gen or maybe even a 4.5 gen fighter engine.

      Given the sentence of only 17 years for the perpetrator of this crime its hard to say just how much data he passed on, seen as though it was so long ago you have to assume that this will not be up to scratch. However China has a pretty reliable commercial airline pipeline. However the engine on this is apparently the D30 which is a very powerful russian engine. Probably the ku of the kp version.

      China is changing its defence posture.

  2. When all transport planes look alike, I guess you have to invent the new concept of “hybrid” to perpetuate the delusion of having a unique design yourself, right?

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