January 12, 2016

3D printing and advanced computer modeling was used to develop China Y-20 military transport aircraft

The Xian Y-20 is China's new large military transport aircraft. The Y-20 is the first cargo aircraft to use 3-D printing technology to speed up its development and to lower its manufacturing cost. Model-based definition (MBD) is also used, and it's the 3rd aircraft to utilize MBD technology in the world, after Boeing 787 (2005) and Airbus A380 (2007). The implementation of MBD greatly shortened the time required, for example, without MBD, installation of wings takes a month or two, but with MBD adopted, the time is drastically shortened to just a few hours, and in general, the design work reduced by 40%, preparation for production reduced by 75%, and manufacturing cycle reduced by 30%. In addition to 3-D printing, Y-20 is also the first aircraft in China adopting associative design technology (ADT) in its development, the second aircraft to do so in the world, after Boeing 787. The adaptation of ADT greatly shortened the development time by at least eight months, and modification of wing design that previously took a week is shortened to half a day

* the shortest take-off distance of Y-20 is 600 to 700 meters
* The first Y-20 prototype is powered by four 12-ton thrust Soloviev D-30KP-2 engines.; early production units are likely to be similarly powered. The Chinese intend to replace the D-30 with the 14-ton thrust WS-20, which is required for the Y-20 to achieve its maximum cargo capacity of 66 tons

The cost is about $160 million for each one.





The Boeing C17 Globemaster III can transport 77 tons. Each C17 costs about $329 million.



Ukraine makes the Antonov An-70 It costs about $75 million each. they can carry 47 tons of cargo.


The Airbus A400M Atlas can transport about 37 tons of cargo.


The C-5 Galaxy has a cargo capacity of about 122 tons.

The An-124 has a cargo capacity of 150 tons

The An-225 is a one off that had a capacity of about 189-247 tons.

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