CJ-6 trainer aircraft

Chuji Jiaolian-6, abbreviated as CJ-6, is a two-seat basic trainer and light attack aircraft designed and manufactured by China-based company Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (formerly known as Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation) for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

It is built to supersede its forerunner, the Nanchang CJ-5 trainer, a license built model of the Yak-18.

CJ-6 variation models

The CJ-6 has eight variants, which are the CJ-6, CJ-6A, CJ-6B, BT-6, PT-6A, Haiyan A, Haiyan B and Haiyan C.

The CJ-6 is a maiden production aircraft integrated with a Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine, rated at 260hp (193kW).

The CJ-6A is a meliorated version powered by Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6A radial piston engine rated at 258hp (213kW) of output power. The maiden flight of the variant was completed in 1961. About 1,800 CJ-6As were produced between 1962 and 1965.

The CJ-6B is an armed border patrol aircraft equipped with Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6D radial piston engine which produces 300hp (220kW) of output power. The variant took off for its first flight in 1964. Its production was carried out between 1964 and 1966. BT-6 and PT-6A are the export models of CJ-6 and CJ-6A respectively.

Haiyan A is a Haiyan prototype and underwent its maiden flight in August 1985. Haiyan B is an upgraded model powered by an advanced Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine rated at 345hp (257kW). It can execute crop dusting, aerial spraying and fire-fighting missions.

Haiyan C is an improved general aviation version built to accomplish agriculture spraying and leisure flights.

CJ-6 design features and specifications

"Chuji Jiaolian-6, abbreviated as CJ-6, is a two-seat basic trainer and light attack aircraft."

The CJ-6 carries a semi-monocoque design. It can execute pilot training as well as light attack operations. Its airframe is made up of aluminium alloys. It was designed by upgrading its predecessor CJ-5 trainer.

The upgrades included incorporation of retractable tricycle type landing gear, with main gear retracting inward into mid fuselage and nose wheel folding back into the fuselage.

CJ-6 development

The development of CJ-6 began in 1957. The development programme was shifted to the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Factory for commencing the production, upon completion of the wind tunnel testing in May 1958.

The CJ-6 encountered serious technical problems, including a mismatch in the engine and propeller during its maiden flight in August 1958. The proposal to install the Soviet A-14P engine and F530D35 propeller in the CJ-6 was raised in August 1959 to avoid the technical errors.

The retrofitted CJ-6 accomplished its first flight in July 1960. Four defects identified in the flight test were overcome by developing a redesigned version in 1961 at the Nanchang Aircraft Factory. The maiden flight of the redesigned prototype was held in October 1961.

The CJ-6 was finally introduced in 1961. Mass production was sanctioned in January 1962.

Cockpit of the two-seat basic trainer aircraft

The fully glass cockpit of the CJ-6 is enclosed with a bubble shaped canopy.

"The CJ-6B is an armed border patrol aircraft."

It can carry two crew members, including a student pilot and instructor pilot. It is also fitted with multifunctional display, radio communication and navigation equipment, distance measuring equipment, rate of climb indicator and air data computer.

The tandem seating configuration offers clear visibility to the flight crew.

Armaments included on the light attack aircraft

The CJ-6 can be fitted with two 7.62mm machine guns, bombs, weapons stations and rocket launchers for light attack capability.

HS6A engines

The CJ-6 is powered by a single Zhouzhou (SMPMC) HS6A radial piston engine rated at 213kW of output power. The HS6A is a nine cylinder, air cooled piston engine designed and built by Zhuzhou Aero-Engine Factory in June 1958.

The length and width of the engine are 1.04m and 0.99m respectively. The dry weight is 210kg.

Performance of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force CJ-6

The CJ-6 can fly at a maximum speed of 300km/h. The range is 700km and the service ceiling is 6,250m. The take-off and landing distances of the aircraft are 280m and 350m respectively. The maximum endurance is 3.6 hours.

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