Nanchang CJ-6


The development line of the CJ-6A can be traced back to the Russian Yak-18. The CJ-5 was a license built Yak-18 produced at the Nanchang Aircraft Factory from 1954 to 1958. With the introduction of jet powered aircraft to the PLAAF in the mid-1950's, the CJ-5 was considered inadequate, and a relacement was considered. The tricycle undercarriage Yak-18a met some, but not all the needs, and a in-house design was produced at the Shenyang aircraft factory. Bearing many similarities to the Yak-18a but a completely new design, the prototype CJ-6 was the result. This aircraft first flew on August 27, 1958, but proved disappointing. Replacement of the 145hp Russian M-11ER radial with the did not correct the problems and a redesign to correct the deficiencies resulted. The new prototype was flown on October 15, 1961, and testing proved successful. Production was approved in early 1962. A Chinese version of the Ivchenko AI-14P, the 260hp HS-6 was introduced in 1963. An uprated engine, the 285hp HS-6A was added in 1965, and the resulting aircraft were designated the CJ-6A. Between 1964 and 1966 an armed version was produced as the CJ-6B. Some reports indicate the CJ-6B utilised the 300hp HS-6D engine.

The CJ-6A is used by the PLAAF from ab-initio through to advanced training where trainees move onto the Shenyang JJ-5 (Mig 17 equivalent). Some CJ-6A have also been fitted with hardpoints for weapons training. Total production of all types is believed to have been over 3000 aircraft. An export version (designated BT-6) has been supplied to users including Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, North Korea, Tanzania, and Zambia.

New Zealand has seen a number of these aircraft imported as part of the burgeoning warbird scene. The first CJ-6A was imported into New Zealand in 1993, and a number have followed. They have been described as falling into the category of 'medium metal' falling somewhere between the DHC-1 Chipmunk and the T-6 Harvard. Often compared to the Yak-52 (which shares a similar ancestry), there appears to be a strong rivalry between the operators of the respective aircraft. The CJ-6A has the advantage of being a 'genuine' warbird, whereas the Yak-52 is a more aerobatic aircraft.

The currently operating aircraft are:

In addition there are at least three further aircraft currently being prepared for active use including 1832041 at Blenheim, 1432020 at Temuka, and another (c/n unknown) in Auckland.

Last Text Update:- 7 November, 2000
Last Picture Update:- 2 December, 2002

Technical Data


'26' taxying - side on '11' on threshold - side on '42' on threshold - side on '11' after shutdown - rear three-quarter '26' at startup - nose on '26' static - nose three-quarter '26' taxying - nose three-quarter '26' taxying '26' at startup  nose three-quarter' 26' static - rear three-quarter

Aviation Homepage © 1999-2002 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved