Yun-5 Utility Aircraft
The Y-5 (Yunshu-5, or Yun-5) is a Chinese copy of the Russian Antonov An-2 (NATO codename: Colt) light cargo biplane designed in the 1940s. First flying in December 1957, the Y-5 is still a common utility aircraft in both civil and military services in China today due to its excellent performance and low operating costs. The aircraft’s extraordinary slow-flight and STOL capabilities make it particularly suitable for taking-off and landing on unprepared fields. Although originally designed as a small passenger and cargo transport, the airframe is highly adaptable for a wide range of roles including pilot training, parachute jumping, air-to-land supply dropping, etc.
Nanchang-based 320 Factory (now Nanchang Hongdu Aviation Industry Co.) began to produce a copy of the An-2 biplane under the USSR assistance in 1956. The aircraft first flew in December 1957 and was approved for production in 1958. A total of 728 examples were produced by 320 Factory between 1958 and 1970, with most of these examples delivered to the PLA and the rest to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). From May 1970, the production of the Y-5 was relocated to Shijiazhuang Red Star Machinery Factory (now Shijiazhuang Aircraft Manufacturing Company). The Y-5 production continued in the mid-1990s.
The Y-5II agricultural aircraft was introduced in 1958. The aircraft featured some improvements to lower the temperature of the cockpit in hot summer weather to allow the aircraft to be deployed in the subtropical regions in Southern China. A total of 229 examples were produced.
The five-seat passenger variant for the PLAAF was introduced in 1958. This was followed by the 11-seat passenger variant Y-5A for CAAC in 1959, with 114 examples produced.
The Y-5D variant for the bomber pilot and navigator training was introduced in June 1962, with 116 examples produced.
A specially modified seven-seat passenger variant was built in August 1960 as a gift to the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. Another two similar examples were built in 1962~63 as gifts to the King of Nepal.
A small number of the amphibious Y-5C fitted with two floating stabilisers were delivered to the PLA naval Air Force in 1964~67.
The latest Y-5B developed in 1995 is fitted with a 1,000hp (735kW) Polish-made ASz-62IR piston engine and revised cockpit instruments to qualify for commercial passenger flight. Its improved variants included Y-5B(D) tourist variant, Y-5B(K) tourist/agricultural variant, and Y-5B military parachute drop variant.
The Y-5’s biplane is rectangular-shaped with curved tips, with one high-mounted and one low-mounted (shorter), connected and braced by two struts. A single radial piston engine (some versions are turboprop) is mounted in the nose. The fuselage is Short and thick with solid, blunt nose, a stepped cockpit, and fixed landing gear. The tail fin is tapered with a large, round tip. The flats are low-mounted on the tail fin and rectangular-shaped with curved tips.
The aircraft is powered by one Huosai-5 piston engine, rated at 1,000hp. Shijiazhuang is considering to replace it with a more powerful turboprop engine in the future.
Dimentions: Wingspan 18.19m; Length 12.75m; Height
Weight: Max take-off 5,500kg; Max load-carrying
capacity 1,500kg; Payload 8~10 armed soliders
Speed: Max speed 256km/h; Cruising speed 220km/h
Range: 1,025km (with maximum fuel); 300km (with
Service ceiling: 4,500m
Runway: Take-off 153m; Landing 173m
Last update: 27 April 2007