ZHUHAI, China—Avic plans to offer a civil freighter version of the Y-20, apparently with a high-bypass engine that has been under development for the military transport.                                                                       

The state manufacturer displayed a model and cabin mockup of the civil version, called the Y20F-100, at Airshow China, held here Nov. 1–6.

The new Y-20 civil variant, if built, would have a payload of 65 tons, Avic says, adding that the project is in the preliminary research phase.

The model showed high-bypass turbofan engines, not the medium-bypass Saturn D-30KP of the military version that entered service in July. Aero Engine Corp. of China, split from Avic this year, is developing the high-bypass WS-20 for the Y-20.

The Y20F-100 project is part of an Avic strategy of exploiting military technologies for civil products.

Manufacturers of airlifters almost always propose civil versions, which have sometimes generated some sales to supplement the main military production runs. The civil market for such aircraft is not large.

The Y20F-100 cannot have airworthiness certification recognized by Western air-safety agencies.

But it could be sold to operators in countries that do not demand approval from such organizations as the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency—assuming that the Civil Aviation Administration of China permits civil operation of the type.