Nanchang CJ-6A, G-BVVG

It would be perhaps wrong to describe this Chinese trainer as ‘universal’, but with over 10,000 built it is, indeed, popular. Despite appearances, it is not a direct copy of the Yak-18A, but has been extensively re-engineered to suit Chinese requirements by the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company. The prototype first flew on August 27, 1958, and entered PLAAF service in 1960, followed by over 3,000 examples for the Chinese armed forces. Since then, it has been exported to Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, North Korea, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Zambia. Powered by a Nanchang Huosai-6JIA radial engine of 285hp, the CJ-6A is heavily reliant on pneumatics to operate flaps, brakes and start the engine. The control of various aircraft systems, such as the oil cooler and engine cooling gills are all manual, so there is a lot to manage during any flight.

The example seen here, G-BVVG, is  parked at the GVFWE, Kemble and is in typical PLAAF markings. It was on the French register for a while, from 1999 to 2002, but is now owned by the Nanchang CJ6A Group of Marlow; prior to this it had been operated by the amazingly-named ‘Peeking Duck Group’ of Bracknell !

A very popular ‘warbird’, the CJ-6A is now being released in batches by the Chinese authorities, and several specialist companies in the USA are currently importing and overhauling these aircraft for re-sale.

6 comments on “Nanchang CJ-6A, G-BVVG”

  1. I have a question about the use of CJ6A in the western countries. As I know, the engine HS-6A of this airplane burnes low octane fuel (between 70-75 octanes), of the mark B-70, which probably is prodused only in China and Russia.

    1) What type of fuel have you adapted for the engine?
    2) Doed this adaption caused changies in operational performance of engine, in
    parameters, and in maintenace procedures?

    Thank you.


    • Data to hand indicates that a range of fuels are used in the CJ6. Blue Sky Yakrobatics Inc. of Florida own and operate a a CJ6N, and the data on their site indicates ’70 octane, minimum’. In Australia, a CJ6, registered VH-NNL, is operated on Avgas 100LL (burning about 15 gallons per hour).

      Certainly, it would be wise to contact a licensed engine mechanic to enquire about engine timing, and possible checks on exhaust valves/seats, should you be running a differently rated fuel to that specified.


  2. I was sailing off Dartmouth on Saturday 5th November when one of these aircraft carried out a simulated attack on another yacht. Was it this aircraft and can you tell me what the reason was?
    Impressive flying by the way.


    • Well, the CAA lists five CJ-6A aircraft on the British register, G-BVVG, B-BXZB, G-CGFS, G-CGHB, and G-CJSA. The owner of -ZB lives in Leeds, and that of -SA in Belgium, so my bet is that it was one of the other three. Sadly, my personal radar doesn’t have ‘over-the-horizon’ capability from here in Massachusetts (a friend suggested that I might develop that if I drank a lot more Glen Morangie), so I can’t confirm the identity of the aircraft which did the ‘beat up’ of the yacht. The usual reason for such activity (illegal, if not approved prior to the event and especially if the pilot has no Display Authorization) is something along the lines of, ‘Ooh, look! There’s Fred, I’ll make him jump!’. If you enjoy coastal sailing by the way, drop into Barry Island Yacht Club one day (shameless plug).


      • Shortfinals
        Many thanks for your response. I thought you may have some personal connection with the consortium that owns it. I was more concerned with identifying the aircraft type but the rest of the crew wanted to know what it was doing there. VVG has displayed at air-shows and I assume that it was a display pilot at the controls. There were also two chase boats, probably for film crew.
        I have sailed along the South Wales coast but not Barry Island – I’ll check the tides.


      • When you check the tides you will be in for a shock; second highest in the world, after the Bay of Fundy! However, it’s a grand place to sail, especially the Glamorgan Heritage Coast; my brother used to be Commodore at the YC. If you search the blog for ‘Blue Anchor’, there’s an entry for one of my favourite thatched ‘pubs!


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