Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (2024)

China | 2012

"The Shaanxi Y-9 was developed as a lengthened version of the Shaanxi Y-8 which improved both internal space and operational range."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/06/2020 | Content © | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Chinese military is currently endorsing development of a plethora of military systems from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and submarines to various small arms and aircraft. For the latter category comes the Shaanxi "Y-9", intended as a medium-class, high-wing, short-field military transport in the same vein as the prolific American Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" transport family. The Y-9 has been accepted into service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and is currently undergoing serial production (2014). At its core, the Y-9 is a lengthened derivative of the earlier Y-8 series of 1980s vintage though the offering increases performance allowing for improved operational ranges and better cargo-hauling capacity.

The Y-9 product was evolved from the Y-8 under the "Y-8X" designation so its general form and function remain faithful to the earlier model series. Development is thought to have started around 2001 with the product intended as a direct successor to the existing, yet limited and aging, Y-8 line. The high-wing layout and four-engine prop configuration was retained as was the streamlined fuselage and single-finned tail unit. A loading ramp and doors allow access to the cargo hold at the base of the tail, a feature common to most any cargo-hauler in military service today. The overall appearance of the aircraft is no doubt inspired by the Chinese-Soviet interactions of the Cold War decades - the Y-8 in fact being developed from the original Soviet Antonov An-12 "Cub" transport-minded family.

The Y-9 features 4 x Zhuzhou WoJiang-6C turboprop engines developing 5,100 shaft horsepower each while driving six-blade composite propellers. Performance includes cruising speeds nearing 405 miles per hour, a ferry range out to 7,800 kilometers, and a service ceiling up to 34,120 feet.

A model of the Y-9 was formally showcased in 2005 at the International Aviation Expo (Beijing) with the goal to have serial manufacture underway in 2009. However, technological issues rendered this timeline moot and the type was delayed from a first flight until November of 2010. Service entry for the line is thought to have occurred with the PLAAF sometime during 2012.

Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation (part of Aviation Industry Corporation of China = AVIC) has also built local Chinese copies of the Soviet Antonov An-2 and An-24 products proving that large, multi-engined military transport experience is in its bloodline. It is also participating in the development of the Xian Y-20 strategic airlifter heavy transport.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft.

4 x Zhuzhou WoJiang-6C turboprop engines developing 5,100 horsepower each.

34,121 ft
10,400 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling

3,542 miles
5,700 km | 3,078 nm
Operational Range

The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft.


118.1 ft
36.00 m
O/A Length

131.2 ft
(40.00 m)
O/A Width

36.1 ft
(11.00 m)
O/A Height

85,980 lb
(39,000 kg)
Empty Weight

169,756 lb
(77,000 kg)

Notable series variants as part of the Shaanxi Y-9 family line.

Y-9 - Base Series Designation

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Shaanxi Y-9. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 10 Units

Contractor(s): Shaanxi Aircraft Company - China

Era Crossover

Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (4)

Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)

Max Alt Visualization

Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (5)

Production Comparison




Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.

Aviation Timeline









1 / 4

Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (6)

Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

2 / 4

Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (7)

Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

3 / 4

Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (8)

Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

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Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (9)

Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.


Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.

Going Further...
The Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft appears in the following collections:


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Shaanxi Y-9 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft (2024)


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