China to co-develop air-launched space system with Ukraine

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Y-20 heavy transport aircraft

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology will partner with Ukrainian companies to co-develop an air-launched rocket system.

China has planned to develop a new generation of rockets that can be released into space from airplanes to replace dysfunctional satellites.

The rockets will be designed so that they could carry 200 kg and can rapidly replace dysfunctional satellites, China Daily reported today.

Ukrainian companies will help to develop air-launched rocket to put a satellite into orbit and special transport aircraft bases on Y-20 transport plane.

Engineers at the academy that is the main developer of Chinese carrier rockets, have designed a model capable of sending a payload of about 100 kilograms into low Earth orbit, Tongyu said.

“The Y-20 strategic transport plane will be the carrier of these rockets. The jet will hold a rocket within its fuselage and release it at a certain altitude. The rocket will be ignited after it leaves the plane,” Li was quoted as saying by China Daily.

However, large satellites will still have to be put into orbit with conventional rockets, experts said.

Delivery of the Y-20 to the Chinese Air Force began in July. It is China’s first domestically developed heavy-lift transport plane and has a maximum take-off weight of more than 200 metric tons and a maximum payload of about 66 tons, the Daily quoted aviation experts as saying.

The air-launched rockets can replace dysfunctional satellites or in cases of disaster relief, quickly send up Earth observation satellites to assist in the effort.

Currently working on a similar project and actively conducted in the United States. In America have already held several successful tests on dumping of bulky cargo aircraft using a parachute.

Also on August 30 2016, members of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AICC) and the Antonov Corporation, the leading Ukrainian aviation company, signed an agreement to restart production of the AN-225, the world’s largest cargo aircraft.

The 640 ton, six engine An-225 is the world’s largest aircraft. Measuring at 84 meters in length and a wingspan of over 88 meters, it carries a world record payload of 250 tons (to put this into comparison, it can carry around 300,000 lbs more than the US military’s Boeing made C-17).

 

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