Nanchang CJ-6 (Max)
Archive Photos 
[Nanchang China CJ-6 (s/n 08) on display (7/2/2006) at the Beijing Aviation Museum, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, People's Republic of China (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2006 Skytamer Images)]
The Nanchang CJ-6 is an aircraft designed and built in China for use by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as a basic trainer.
The CJ-6 (CJ=Chuji Jiaolianji=Primary Trainer in English) is an all-original Chinese design that is commonly, but erroneously, mistaken for a Yak-18A. Its predecessor, the Nanchang CJ-5, was a licence-built version of the Yak-18. However, advancements in pilot training brought a need for a new aircraft with improved performance and a tricycle landing gear. When the Soviet Union developed the Yak-18A, PLAAF engineers decided that its performance and design would not suit China's needs. A few important Chinese aircraft designers were involved in design task of CJ-6, Lin Jiahua (Nanchang 320 Aircraft Factory designer, previously involved in CJ-5's design project), Xu Xunshou (key member of J-7/J-8 fighter jet design team in 1970's) and Zhiqian Huang (Chief designer of J-8 fighter jet).
During late 1957 Aeronautical Engineers Cheng Bushi and Lin Jiahua began work in Shenyang on a trainer design that addressed the shortcomings of the Yak-18A. The design they delivered featured an aluminum semi-monocoque fuselage, flush-riveted throughout, and introduced a modified Clark airfoil wing design with pronounced dihedral in the outer sections. Wind tunnel testing validated the design, and in May 1958 the program was transferred to the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing factory where Chief Engineer Goa Zhenning initiated production of the CJ-6. The first flight of the CJ-6 was completed on August 27, 1958 by Lu Maofan and He Yinxi.
Power for the prototype was provided by a Czech-built horizontally-opposed piston engine, but flight testing revealed the need for more power, so a locally manufactured version of the Soviet AI-14P 260 hp radial, the Housai HS-6, was substituted along with a matching propeller, and with that change the CJ-6 was approved for mass production. In 1965 the HS-6 engine was upgraded to 285 hp and redesignated the HS-6A, and the aircraft equipped with the new powerplant were designated the CJ-6A.
A total production run estimated at more than 3,000 aircraft supplied CJ-6 aircraft for PLAAF training, as well as for export (as the PT-6) to countries including Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, North Korea, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.
It is expected Hongdu/Yakovlov joint developed CJ-7 Trainer (L-7) primary trainer will replace CJ-6's in PLAAF.
General Information 
One thing to note is that the Nanchang CJ-6 makes extensive use of pneumatics to control the gear and flap extension/retraction, operate the brakes and start the engine. An engine-driven air pump recharges the system, however if air pressure is too low to start the engine then the onboard air tank can be recharged by an external source. If an external source is not available then the engine can be started by hand swinging the propeller.
Civilian Use 
Due to its inexpensive price and sturdy construction, the CJ-6A is a popular hobby plane. A used CJ-6 in the United States can cost as little as $75,000. The aircraft appears on the civil register of the USA, Australia, UK, South Africa and other countries.
In Australia CJ-6 Aircraft are generally operated in the Limited Catergory. This is administered by the Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL). The AWAL operates under an approval from the Australian Government's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to manage the operation of ex Military aircraft.
Nanchang CJ-6A (Max) Specifications 
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