The first large military airlifter developed by China made its maiden flight on January 26. The Y-20 prototype, seen previously upon rollout, was airborne for about one hour before returning to the Yanliang air base in Xian, amid the cheers of a flag-waving crowd. The test flight was called a key step toward building China’s strategic force. Judging from the prototype’s serial number–20001–at least 100 Y-20s could be produced.
With much of the world’s air freight business still struggling to earn decent yields, United Arab Emirates-based Maximus Air Cargo is stepping up efforts to tilt its business plan increasingly in favor of wet leases covering aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance (ACMI).
Ukraine’s Antonov An-74TK-300 made its international debut at this year’s Paris Air Show. First flown in April, the airplane had, as of mid-July, flown 35 times, including 20 missions for its certification program. It differs from the basic An-72/74 family of twinjets in its underwing engine pylons.
The 21 An-124 heavy airlifters owned by the Russian Air Force are now available for sale to commercial operators, according to unconfirmed media reports in Russia. The Russian Air Force grounded the aircraft in December 2005, and their technical condition is uncertain. If they are for sale, they are certain to attract interest from the four current commercial operators of the An-124.
Xi’an Aircraft Industry is showing a model here at Le Bourget of a proposed cargo version of its MA60 regional turboprop. The MA60-500 is expected to be able to carry a payload of five tons over a range of 1,000 miles. Marketed by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), more than 20 standard MA60s have been delivered to Wuhan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Shenzhen.