The Nanchang CJ-6A is an all-metal, flush riveted, multi-role aircraft. The CJ-6A sits high on pneumatically operated tricycle landing gear, sporting a partial gulled wing, a large greenhouse canopy, and a squared off tail. Weighing 1400kg, the 285hp 9-cylinder radial engine gives the CJ-6A a top speed of nearly 400km/h and a range of over 500km.
At the end of World War II, the Chinese recognized the need to equip its own pilots and create its own air arm. The YAK-18 was exported from the Soviet Union to the Peoples' Liberation Army Air Force. Although the YAK-18 was a successful design, the performance lacked, and China elected to design its first indigenous aircraft. While some of the features from the YAK-18 were carried through to the CJ-6 model, it was in fact a totally new design.
The CJ-6 went from an initial concept drawing to it’s first flight in what is known in China as the “Miracle of 72 Days”. This first flight occurred on August 27th, 1958. It’s design was rugged, reliable, and the aircraft was easy to maintain and operate, yet had enough performance to be able to transition newly winged aviators into the fighter aircraft of it’s time.
Although originally designed as a trainer, the CJ-6 model was quickly adapted to many roles including close air support, forward air control, and was even fitted for agricultural duties. Today, only a handful of air arms around the world still operate the CJ-6 in its numerous variants. When armed, the CJ-6A carried 7.62mm Machine Guns, Bombs, and Rockets.
Our CJ-6A, affectionately named 'Nancy', served in a training squadron where student pilots learned both primary-flying skills, as well as advanced training such as formation flying, aerobatics,
and combat tactics. After retirement from military service, Nancy was dismantled and placed in indefinite storage until being purchased from The Peoples’ Republic of China in 2006.
Nancy underwent a comprehensive 2-year restoration under the direction of Peter Waddington and Brian Nosko, the original caretakers of Nancy.
Geoff has had the great fortune to continue preserving and operating Nancy since 2012.