China's JF-17B dual-seat fighter trainer makes maiden flight

Yao Jianing

The dual-seat fighter trainer plane JF-17B developed by China made its maiden flight Thursday in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

A variant fighter trainer for the JF-17, JF-17B was developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to meet the requirements of international customers and the global market, according to the AVIC.

The AVIC said in a statement that the plane can be used for training in peacetime and can also be used in combat missions during wartime.

With the witness of guests from home and abroad Thursday morning, a JF-17B aircraft climbed up and stayed in the air for about 26 minutes.

The debut flight symbolized a major milestone in the development of the JF-17 aircraft series, the AVIC said.

Yang Wei, chief designer of the JF-17B, said the JF-17B dual-seat aircraft brings a new force to JF-17 family and will increase JF-17 series' competitiveness in global market.

The AVIC said the JF-17B was developed in a market and customer-oriented manner and has achieved a balance among performance, quality, cost and market needs.

Sources with the AVIC said that the F-17B aircraft has received overseas orders during its development stage, fact that revealed international customers' confidence in the series and in China's aviation industry.

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