Escorted by a J-15 fighter and numbered “20001,” China’s domestically-produced Y-20 transport aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on Jan. 26 at the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)’s China Flight Test Establishment in Sha’anxi province, remaining airborne for an hour , according to state-run media reports.
In an example of selective transparency to boost pride at home and credibility abroad, domestic media were rapidly notified of the Y-20’s test flight and Chinese military enthusiasts are energetically welcoming the news.
“First we heard about the test flight of the J-31 stealth fighter jet, then the landing and takeoff of the J-15 on our aircraft carrier, and now we embrace the birth of the Y-20,” the state-run English-language China Daily quoted Qu Renming, a white-collar worker in Beijing, as saying. “The only concern for military fans is when can the Y-20 use our domestically developed engine and enter into service.”
For the complete story by Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins of The Wall Street Journal, click here.