Category Archives: China

China’s Air Force aerobatic display team to attend first ever air show abroad. In Russia

The Chinese national aerobatic team, named August 1st (after the date of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force) is to be the highlight on the MAKS 2013 air show in Moscow on Aug. 27.

The team was established 51 years ago; over the years pilots have performed for 668 delegations from 166 countries and regions. However, the Moscow tour will be the team’s first show abroad.

According to the official sources the debut is to strenghten the international ties between Russia and China – in this way the team’s visit to Moscow has a largely political dimension.

The Chinese team initially used J-5 fighters, which were homebuilt MiG-17s. Nonetheless in order to fully showcase the developments in the Chinese aviation, domestic third gen. J-10 fighters in a version that has no armament, equip the display team based at Yangcun Air Force Base (Meichong) near Tianjin.

August 1st use 8 J-10s but only 6 of them take part in the show.

The home debut of the J-10s took place during the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, back in 2008.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

China national display team

Image Credit: News.CN,  Flickr/ Tomislav Mesaric


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China’s Air Force pilots visit NATO airbase

According to the official webppage of Krzesiny AB, the 31. Tactical Air Base near Poznan, Poland was visited by over 50 officials, including high officers of Chinese Air Force, as part of a study tour of Europe organized by the Command of People’s Republic of China Air Force.

Among the visitors there were commanders of squadrons, pilots of combat units and students of aviation schools.

The main aim of the Chinese visit was to get acquainted with the equipment used by the most modern F-16 base in the Central-Eastern Europe. The visitors were welcomed by Brigadier General Włodzimierz Usarek – the commander of the 2. Tactcal Aviation Wing, and Colonel Jacek Pszczoła – the commander of the 31. AB.

The guests were additionaly accompanied by the deputy chief of the Polish Air Force HQ, Brigadier General Krzysztof Żabicki and Colonel Piotr Cieślik, who is the chief for international relations in the Polish Air Force.

Image Credit: R. Najder

The guests got acquainted with the profile of the unit and the planes that were formerly used in the unit. Later on they went on to see a part of the most modern set of F-16s in Europe (Block 52+ airplanes).

Next they saw how the airfield fire service works and they were guided around the base.

The Chinese delegation had no opportunity to see all of the F-16 stationed normally in Krzesiny, as part of them is currently stationed in Łask AB. 25 F-16s and personnel needed to mantain the aircraft are stationed there due to the additional training that takes place in cooperation with the Nellis detatchment.

During the period of the training the runway in Krzesiny is to undergo routine maitenance.

It is quite interesting to see a visit of officials from a country that is considered as an adversary by NATO in one of the most modern bases in the Central-Eastern Europe.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist


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Latest image of China’s stealth fighter jet weapons bay is a bad Photoshop work

As we have already explained, on Jul. 2, the J-20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter jet conducted a test flight with the weapon bay opened.

However, what we hadn’t noticed at first glance is that the inside of the weapons bay was blurred so as to hide its content.

Hence, the roundels you can see are not painted on the bay ceiling but were added in post-production: a bad Photoshop work, as you can clearly see the warhead of the missile housed in the weapons bay.

So, did Beijing want to show the weapons bay giving just a hint to the missile China’s 5th generation fighter plane will carry or was the missile head just a mistake?


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China’s new stealth fighter flies with open weapon bay

As the following images show, the Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon flew the Jul. 2 test sortie with main weapon bay doors opened.

This was the first time China’s stealth fighter opened the bay that will house some of its weapons.

Noteworthy, the inside of the bay was blurred and the typical People’s Liberation Army Air Force “roundel” was Photoshopped on the ceiling of the weapon bay.

J-20 open bay 2

In order to preserve their stealthiness and keep the RCS (Radar Cross Section) as low as possible, radar-evading planes rely on weapons bay: bombs and missiles to be fired are kept inside the bays until it’s time to use them.

At the end of March the second prototype of the stealth aircraft was seen featuring a missile deployment device on the side weapons bay which extracts the selected air-to-air missile and then closes the door to keep the reduced RCS.

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Is this China’s new Long Range Strike stealth aircraft?

The following image, found by Chinese military aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht, shows the shape of what could be a future Chinese stealth bomber plane.

True or false? A model plane or just the base of a future radar evading attack plane?

Hard to say.

For sure, the shape of this alleged LRS (long range strike) stealth aircraft is intriguing and shows input from several existing U.S. planes, including the F-117 Nighthawk and the YF-23.  Furthermore, some of Beijing’s works were leaked in the form scale models during local exhibitions hence, even if unlikely, it is not completely impossible that the one depicted in the photographs and artwork above is the Chinese answer to the Russian sixth-generation pilotless strategic bomber based on the PAK-DA or the American X-51, Falcon HTV-2 and other hypersonic development programs on which U.S.’s perspective strike capability will be based.

China is working a lot on stealth planes.

Last month, few hours before the U.S. Navy launched the the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time, images of China’s first weaponized stealth drone emerged from the Chinese Internet.

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