China's Most Powerful Aircraft Engine Ever Takes To The Sky

Presenting the WS-20

China WS-20 Engine Il-76

WS-20 Test Flight

The WS-20 engine is the one on the inner port (left side) of this Il-76 testbed. The China Flight Test Evaluation (CFTE) has an Il-76 for high altitude testing of Chinese engines, such as the WS-10 and WS-20. The WS-20 is wider and bulkier than the D-30 engines powering the IL-76, since it has a higher bypass ratio (meaning a wider fan) for fuel efficiency.www.top81.cn

China's most powerful aircraft engine, the WS-20, is getting closer to finishing its tests. With a power output of 14 tons, the WS-20 will replace the less powerful and less efficient Russian D-30KP, which has only 10.5 tons of thrust. The WS-20 turbofan has been flying on this Il-76 test aircraft since 2014, and it's likely that aerial testing will wrap up in late 2015.

China WS-20 Engine

WS-20

The WS-20 turbofan engine can deliver up to 14 tons of thrust, which makes it comparable to the CFM-56 engine with powers Airbus 320 and Boeing 737s.bbs.huanqiu.com

China has made progress in replacing foreign engines for its fighter programs, but it still relies on the D-30KP turbofan to power subsonic aircraft such as the Y-20 heavy transport and H-6K bomber. The WS-20 is believed to derive its engine core from the WS-10A turbofan engine, which powers the Shenyang J-11B and J-16 strike fighters.

Y-20 China transport aircraft

Y-20 Comparision

This speculative CGI compares the current Y-20 prototype with the smaller D-30 engines at the bottom, while the more powerful and efficient WS-20 engined Y-20 is at the top.green-stone13.livejournal.com

The WS-20 entering into Chinese service would provide performance boosts to the Y-20, increasing its payload to 66 tons from the prototype's 50 tons. That would give China the ability to fly heavy battle tanks and missile launchers across the Asian continent, as well as a larger Y-20-based aerial tanker. The WS-20 could also be a domestic powerplant for military derivatives of the C919 jetliner, which would be used for airborne warning and control, and anti-submarine missions.

You may also be interested in: