Reaching for the skies

China Daily
Huang Panyue
2019-10-28 09:28:10

From left: The Bayi (August 1) Aerobatics Team of the PLA Air Force perform during an air show celebrating the 70th anniversary of the force's foundation; the PLAAF Sky Wing Air Demonstration Team; a flight performance of two J-20 fighter jets. Photos by Zou Hong / China Daily

Fans of military aviation were treated to showcase of China's latest aerial hardware and technology in Changchun

The People's Liberation Army Air Force concluded a grand open-house event earlier this week in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province, to mark its upcoming 70th anniversary.

During the five-day event, aviation and military fans from across the country were treated to a series of air shows at the Air Force Changchun Airport, including display of maneuvering by the J-20, China's best combat plane and the world's third operational stealth fighter jet, and the Y-20, the world's newest strategic transport plane.

General Ding Laihang, the Air Force's commander-in-chief, and General Yu Zhongfu, the force's political commissar, as well as other provincial leaders attended the event's opening ceremony on Oct 17.

From left: The PLA Air Force Aviation University organizes military camp open-day activities; people travel miles to Changchun for the open-house event; autorotation training for the pilots.

The open-house event aimed to highlight the Air Force's achievements over the past 70 years in terms of development and transformation as well as to demonstrate its strategic prowess and efforts to build up a strong combat capability, according to Air Force officers.

The air shows featured the flight performance of 35 aircraft in 10 types in active service with the Air Force, such as the J-20 fighter jet and JL-10 advanced trainer jet. Some 46 different types out of a total of 71 ground weapons also went on display.

This was the seventh large-scale open-house event put on by the Air Force since they started to hosting them 2011. The venue of these events is permanently set in Changchun, a city historically significant to the Air Force.

In March 1946, the first flight school of the Communist Party of China's armed forces was set up in Jilin province's Tonghua, which was later moved to Changchun. The school is regarded as the cradle of the Chinese Air Force.

Less than four years later, the PLA Air Force was established on Nov 11, 1949, in Beijing, about one month after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Y-20, the newest strategic transport plane in the world.


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