Shaanxi Y-8

1st Flight 1974

Y-8 Series of medium military transport aircraft has a maximum payload of 20 tons.

It is powered by four turboprop engines and has a pressurized cabin and a ramp door.

It can carry up to 86 soldiers, 60 paratroopers or 72 stretchers.

For cargo transport, it can carry 4 pallets of 96″×125″ or military vehicles.


Y-8: The baseline unpressurized transport aircraft produced primarily for transport duties with the PLAAF.

Y-8A: Helicopter transport aircraft with rear loading ramp, travelling gantry removed and a hydraulically operated steady under the rear door.

Y-8AF: ASW platform under tests, with extended magnetic anomaly detector at the tail, the latest military version, looks similar to Y-8 Mineral research plane.

Y-8B: Unpressurised freight/passenger transport aircraft for CAAC.

Y-8C: Fully pressurised transport version with the rear cargo ramp of the Y-8B.

Y-8CA: Electronic Countermeasures aircraft with extensive arrays of aerials and a ventral canoe.

Y-8CB: ECM variant, characterized by a sharp pointed nose cone.

Y-8D: Export military transport fitted with western avionics.

The initial Y-8D was superseded by the Y-8DII.

Y-8DZ: Electronic signals intelligence version characterized by the cylindrical array just in front of the vertical stabilizer.

Y-8E: Drone carrier aircraft for launching WZ-5 Chang Hong-1 reconnaissance drones, reverse-engineered Ryan Firebees, to replace Tu-4 Drone launchers..

Y-8F: Livestock transport aircraft with three tiers of cages either side of a central aisle, able to accommodate 350 sheep or goats.

The livestock transport was developed to allow access to remote seasonal pastures.

Y-8FQ: Maritime Patrol variant with modified tail housing a boom-mounted magnetic anomaly detector to detect submarines.

Y-8F-100: Fitted with more powerful engines, EFIS, colour weather radar, TCAS and GPS.

Y-8F-200: This model has a 2.2m (7 ft 10in) stretched fuselage, Capacity: 23 tons.

Y-8F-200WA: Exported to Kazakhstan

Y-8F-400: As for Y-8F-300 but with pressurised cargo hold, Capacity: 23 tons.

Y-8GX1: Electronic Warfare (VHF/UHF Tactical Jamming).

Y-8GX3: Airborne Command Post and ECM version based on the Y-8F-200.

Y-8GX7: Electronic attack. At least 3 known to be in service stationed in Fujian.

Y-8H: Aerial survey aircraft.

Y-8J: AWACS aircraft with British GEC-Marconi Argus-2000 L-band pulse-doppler search radar in a large nose radome, with work stations for the operators in the cargo hold.

Reputedly fully pressurised but lacking the cargo ramp associated with pressurised cargo holds.

Y-8J: AEW aircraft with Sky Master radar.

Y-8JB: ELINT variant.

Y-8Q: ASW variant, surface search radar, FLIR, internal bomb bay, SATCOM, and tail MAD.

Y-8T: C3I command post and battlefield surveillance aircraft based on the Y-8F-400.

Y-8U: Experimental aircraft equipped with British Mk 32 aerial refueling pods for the development of Chinese aerial refueling technology.

Y-8W: An AWACS version of the KJ-200 with ‘Balance Beam phased array radar mounted above the fuselage.

Y-8X: Maritime Patrol Aircraft with western avionics, radar, mission systems and defensive aids.

Some aircraft have been known to carry ELINT packages.

Equipped with Litton Canada AN/APS-504(V) search radar for maritime surveillance missions.

This version is characterized by a larger cylindrical radar radome under the nose similar to that on H-6 bomber.

Y-8XZ: a Psychological warfare aircraft for broadcasting TV and radio propaganda.


Y-8 AWACS: Characterized by the large Rotodome strut supported over the rear fuselage and the triple tail configuration with large trapezoidal auxiliary fins at the tips of the tailplane, similar to the Beriev A-50.

Y-8 AWACS: Another AWACS version was studied at Shaanxi with large radomes at nose and tail in similar fashion to the abortive AEW Nimrod.

Y-8 Geophysical Survey Aircraft: Characterized by the extended magnetic anomaly detector at the tail, for finding potential mine sites, similar in appearance to an anti-submarine warfare platform and is often mistaken for the latter.

Y-8 Anti-Submarine Aircraft: anti-submarine variant revealed in 2012.

The anti-submarine variant has a large air-to-surface search radar, a side-looking ISAR radar and a magnetic anomaly detection tube.

ZDK-03: A variant designed specifically for export to the Pakistan Air Force, with a total of 4 ordered. Consists of a Chinese AESA radar mounted on the Y-8F600 platform. 

The radar is reported to have a greater range than that of the PAF’s Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C radar and the aircraft incorporates open architecture electronics to make future upgrades easier to implement.

Delivery of the first aircraft to the Pakistan Air Force was expected by the end of 2010. 

The first aircraft was delivered 2011 and the fourth and last aircraft delivered 2015.

ZDK-06: An export-oriented airborne warning and control system featuring the JY-06 active electronically scanned array and Pulse-Doppler radar.

KJ-500: An airborne warning and control system featuring three active electronically scanned array radars arranged in a triangular array, with additional electronic intelligence antennae and further radar antennae on its fuselage to provide 360-degree coverage.


Crew: 5, 3, or 2 (Y-8F600)

Capacity: 90 equipped troops / 20,000 kg (44,092 lb) payload

Length: 34.02 m (111 ft 7 in)

Wingspan: 38 m (124 ft 8 in)

Height: 11.16 m (36 ft 7 in)

Wing area: 121.9 m2 (1,312 sq ft)

Airfoil: root: C-5-18 ; tip: C-3-14

Empty weight: 35,490 kg (78,242 lb)

Max take-off weight: 61,000 kg (134,482 lb)

Powerplant: 4 × Zhuzhou WoJiang-6 turboprop engines, 3,170 kW (4,250 hp) each

Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed propellers


Maximum speed: 660 km/h (410 mph, 360 kn)

Cruise speed: 550 km/h (340 mph, 300 kn)

Range: 5,615 km (3,489 mi, 3,032 nmi)

Service ceiling: 10,400 m (34,100 ft)

Rate of climb: 10 m/s (2,000 ft/min)


Guns: 2x 23 mm (0.906 in) cannon in tail turret (early models only).



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