- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Nanchang CJ-6
Nanchang CJ-6A - C-FDLZ
1992 Nanchang CJ-6A
C-FDLZ (sn 5432023)
Photo taken September 04, 2010
Oliver,BC - Canada (AU3 / CAU3)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

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.


A common, but erroneous, belief is that the CJ-6 is a Chinese version of the Yakovlev 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.

During late 1957 Aeronautical Engineers Bushi Cheng 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 to countries including Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, North Korea, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.

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.


  • Hongzhuan-502 (Hongzhuan - Red Craftsman)
    Initial designation of production CJ-6 aircraft.
  • CJ-6
    Two-seat primary trainer aircraft, powered by a 260-hp Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine.
  • CJ-6A
    Improved version, powered by a 285-hp Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6A radial piston engine.
  • CJ-6B
    Two-seat armed border patrol aircraft, powered by a 300-hp Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6D radial piston engine. Small number built.
  • BT-6
    Export designation of the CJ-6 and CJ-6A.
  • PT-6A
    Export version of the CJ-6A
  • Haiyan A (Haiyan - Petrel)
    Haiyan Prototype. First flew on August 17, 1985.
  • Haiyan B
    Single-seat agricultural topdressing, aerial spraying, fire-fighting aircraft, fitted with an upgraded 345-hp Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine.
  • Haiyan C
    General aviation variant for agriculture and leisure flight.

Military Operators

  • Albania
    Albanian Air Force
  • Bangladesh
    Bangladesh Air Force
  • Cambodia
    Royal Cambodian Air Force
  • Ecuador
    Ecuadorian Army Aviation
  • People's Republic of China
    People's Liberation Army Air Force
    People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force
  • North Korea
    North Korean Air Force
  • Laos
    Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force
  • Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka Air Force
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
    Military of Zambia

In addition, many civilians operate the CJ-6A. The aircraft appears on the civil register of the USA, Australia, UK, South Africa and other countries.

Specifications (CJ-6A)

General characteristics
Crew: Two (student & instructor)
Length: 8.46 m (27 ft 9 in)
Wingspan: 10.22 m (33 ft 6 in)
Height: 3.3 m (10 ft 8 in)
Empty weight: 1,095 kg (2,414 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Zhouzhou (SMPMC) HS6A (different variants uses different types) radial engine, 213 kW (285 hp)

Maximum speed: 300 km/h (160 kts, 185 mph)
Range: 700 km (372 nm, 425 mi)
Service ceiling: >6,250+ m ()

2 x 7.62mm machine guns
Weapons stations and hardpoints under the wings
Rocket launchers

Last updated October 01, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nanchang CJ-6".
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