Xian Y-20 Transport Aircraft - China:
The Xian Y-20 is a large military transport aircraft. The project is being developed by Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation and was officially launched in 2006. The official codename of the aircraft is Kunpeng. after the mythical bird of ancient China that can fly for thousands of kilometres. However, within the Chinese aviation industry itself, the aircraft is more commonly known by its nickname Chubby Girl, because its wide fuselage in comparison to other Chinese aircraft previously developed in China.
The Y-20's general designer is Tang Changhong (the general designer of Xian JH-7), and the deputy general designer is Guo Zhaodian. The aircraft was primarily designed and developed in China under Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation.
The Y-20 uses components made of composite materials. The composites are produced in China, whereas in the past they had to be imported. The Y-20's cabin incorporates flame-retardant composites developed by the 703 Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The 703 Institute was created in March 2009 with development taking three years. The performance of the composites is reportedly comparable to those that fulfill FAR Part 25.835. The 703 Institute achieved another milestone by establishing a comprehensive Chinese evaluation and certification system for aircraft composite materials based on international standards.
The Y-20 is the first cargo aircraft to use 3D printing technology to speed up its development and to lower its manufacturing cost. Model-based definition (MBD) is also used, and it's the third aircraft to utilize MBD technology in the world, after Airbus A380 (2000) and Boeing 787 (2005). A project team to implement MBD for Y-20 program was formally formed in October 2009, and after the initial success in application on the main landing gear, MBD application was expanded to the entire aircraft and became mandatory for all contractors and sub contractors of the Y-20 program. The implementation of MBD was initially met with strong resistance, with only a third of suppliers agreed to implement MBD, but the general designer of Y-20 declared those who refuse to do so will be banned from participating in Y-20 program, thus forcing everyone to comply, resulting in increase in productivity. The implementation of MBD greatly shortened the time required, for example, without MBD, installation of wings takes a month or two, but with MBD adopted, the time is drastically shortened to just a few hours, and in general, the design work reduced by 40%, preparation for production reduced by 75%, and manufacturing cycle reduced by 30%. More details