(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

The 8th edition of the Airshow China held at the Zhuhai airport was announced this year with a strong participation of the China Air Force, the PLAAF (People's Liberation Army - Air Force). Preparations were thus made to visit this event with the hope to catch a glimpse of some hardware of this still very secret Air Force. The first announcement of the flying program was unfortunately glooming, but as each aircraft there would be a rare item I was really looking forward to this event.

Top

Where? Zhuhai, Guangdong, PR China
When? 16-21/11/2010

After spending three days at the show - and thus avoiding the crowded public days from Friday to Saturday - it can be said that Airshow China was an event mainly focusing on the achievements of the Chinese Aviation Industry.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
So 2157 100 67 85
So 2283 100 67 85
So 6878 100 67 85
Zo 6777 100 67 85

The three halls mainly focused on the different Chinese aviation companies and the flying display also consisted to the biggest part of Chinese aircraft. Unfortunately the PLAAF only played a minor part there and showed of (only) five aircraft on the ground: JH-7 Leopard, J-8 Finback, the H-6 bomber (which is a modified Tu-16), KJ-200 (and AWACS-version of the Y-8 aircraft) and the ZA-9 armed attack helicopter. For the enthusiasts however it made up for the highlight of the flying program with their Chengdu JJ-5 and Shanyang J-6 jets and the propeller-powered Nanchang CJ-5 - these aircraft are license versions of the Russian twin-seat MiG-17, MiG-19 and Yak-18, and appear to be still in service in the PLAAF, even if only in small numbers nowadays. A good addition was furthermore the Z-8 helicopter (more or less a Super Frelon) that brought up a parachute team to do some performances.

PLAAF So 1137 700 470 90
PLAAF So 1137 100 67 85
PLAAF So 1204 100 67 85
PLAAF So 1206 100 67 85
PLAAF So 1240 100 67 85
0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1087 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1120 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1225 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1231 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1376 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1416 100 67 85
JT 6 MiG 19 1429 100 67 85
0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 0882 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1040 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1201 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1306 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1317 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1352 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1359 100 67 85
JT 5 MiG 17 1401 100 67 85
CJ 5 Yak 18 0969 700 470 90
CJ 5 Yak 18 0969 100 67 85
CJ 5 Yak 18 0981 100 67 85
CJ 5 Yak 18 1264 100 67 85
CJ 5 Yak 18 1275 100 67 85
CJ 5 Yak 18 1335 100 67 85
Z 8 1554 700 470 90
Z 8 1554 100 67 85
Z 8 1556 100 67 85
Z 8 1734 100 67 85
Z 8 1737 100 67 85
Z 8 2566 100 67 85

Without doubt being the highlight was the "1st August" Demonstration Team: the PLAAF's has recently been re-equipping the team with six of the new Chengdu J-10 fighters and it performed its first full public display at Zhuhai. The display included several aerobatic manoeuvres as a 6-ship as well as solo demonstrations using smoke and flares. Most obviously the local crowed was most enthusiastic about this performance and it has to be said that this team already flies on a very high level with precise formations, timings as well as a good choreography to allow for always having a jet with visual contact for the crowd.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2280 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2337 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2346 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2399 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2403 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2405 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2407 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2433 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2443 100 67 85
0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
J 10 Taxiway 1467 100 67 85
J 10 Taxiway 1681 100 67 85
J 10 Taxiway 1683 100 67 85
J 10 Taxiway 1705 100 67 85
1J 10 Display 6698 700 470 90
1J 10 Display 6698 100 67 85
2J 10 Display 6701 100 67 85
3J 10 Display 6706 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1507 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1643 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1667 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1668 100 67 85
J 10 Display 2491 100 67 85
J 10 Display 2509 100 67 85
J 10 Display 2563 100 67 85
0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1516 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1530 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1535 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1538 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1540 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1548 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1601 100 67 85
J 10 Display 1624 100 67 85
J 10 Display 2541 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6711 700 470 90
J 10 Display 6711 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6719 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6722 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6727 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6731 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6735 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6739 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6740 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6742 100 67 85
J 10 Display 6743 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2590 700 470 90
J 10 Ground 2590 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2594 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2602 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2617 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2628 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2648 100 67 85
J 10 Ground 2675 100 67 85
J 10 Details 2702 700 470 90
J 10 Details 2702 100 67 85
J 10 Details 2710 100 67 85
J 10 Details 2714 100 67 85
J 10 Details 2715 100 67 85
J 10 Details 2726 100 67 85

The other military participant was the Pakistan Air Force, bringing with them 3 JF-17/FC-1 Thunder, a small and light combat aircraft developed together by China and Pakistan. The huge Pakistani delegation was warmly welcomed and celebrated by the Chinese as showed the warm welcome and photo requests by many visitors. The real highlight was of course the first ever display of the JF-17 in a foreign country, which showed the power and agility of the 'Thunder'.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
JF 17 0514 100 67 85
JF 17 1754 100 67 85
JF 17 1776 100 67 85
JF 17 1798 100 67 85
JF 17 1808 100 67 85
JF 17 1809 100 67 85
JF 17 1811 100 67 85
JF 17 2664 700 470 90
JF 17 2664 100 67 85
JF 17 Details 2745 100 67 85
JF 17 Details 2746 100 67 85
JF 17 Details 7057 100 67 85
ZJF 17 Details 2293 100 67 85

Together with the JF-17 the Pakistanis also brought the "Sherdils" Display Team to Zhuhai, flying 6 K-8 jet trainer aircraft. This display was not what you are might be used to see in Europe, but the fact seeing six Pakistani aircraft in very nice colours in formation above our heads made well up for this.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 1829 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 1834 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 1840 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 1875 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 6763 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 6770 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 6782 100 67 85
1 700 470 90
1 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 2144 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 2152 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 2164 100 67 85
K 8 Sherdils 6755 100 67 85

Of course the Chinese aircraft must not be forgotten. The premiere was the L15 'Falcon' advanced jet trainer, recently equipped with two AI-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburner. It showed a full flying display giving an impression of its agility and power/weight ratio. Looking a bit like the T-50 or M346 it remains to be seen what the future of this new aircraft on the jet trainer stage might be.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
L15 0786 100 67 85
L15 1911 100 67 85
L15 1929 100 67 85
L15 1940 100 67 85
L15 1943 100 67 85
L15 1952 100 67 85
L15 1960 100 67 85
L15 1974 100 67 85

Three more new products were furthermore presented by AVIC, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China :

  • o the AC313 helicopter is the update of the Z-8, the latter one itself being based on the French 'Super Frelon'
  • o the MA600 turboprop civil transport aircraft
  • o and last but not least the colourful ARJ21, China's answer to the market for small jet-powered airlines. It is based on components of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and powered by two CF34-10A engines.
AC313 0675 700 470 90
AC313 0675 100 67 85
AC313 2035 100 67 85
AC313 2070 100 67 85
AC313 2308 100 67 85
AC313 6820 100 67 85
MA600 2106 700 470 90
MA600 2106 100 67 85
MA600 2163 100 67 85
MA600 6601 100 67 85
MA600 6838 100 67 85
MA600 6961 100 67 85
ARJ21 2093 700 470 90
ARJ21 2093 100 67 85
ARJ21 2095 100 67 85
ARJ21 2114 100 67 85
ARJ21 2125 100 67 85
ARJ21 6551 100 67 85
ARJ21 6556 100 67 85
ARJ21 6854 100 67 85
ARJ21 6858 100 67 85
ARJ21 6865 100 67 85
ARJ21 7056 100 67 85

From the west the mighty A380 was the showstopper during the flight display. It performed its well-known routine and surprised by its powerful climb directly after take-off, but this time it was powered by the new "Engine Alliance" GP7200 engines. The display was shown twice on Tuesday, once for the opening ceremony and then again later in the afternoon, and on the following day, before the aircraft left the show after two days of attendance.

A380 2111 700 470 90
A380 2111 100 67 85
A380 2137 100 67 85
A380 6573 100 67 85
A380 6868 100 67 85
A380 6873 100 67 85

The Antonov An148 flew on the first day as well to demonstrate the strong ties between Antonov and China.

An148 6629 700 470 90
An148 6629 100 67 85
An148 6632 100 67 85
An148 6634 100 67 85

A rare appearance in the air was furthermore made by the Sikorsky S92 in the "China Southern" airline livery. It was presented as this type is new in their fleet additionally to the already existing S76 helicopters.

0 700 470 90
0 100 67 85
S 92 2010 100 67 85
S 92 2013 100 67 85
S 92 6808 100 67 85

Unfortunately after only a short fly-over it disappeared fenced-off in the static display area, where some other nice aircraft were parked as well, which would have looked very well in the flight display as well:

Static 2167 700 470 90
Static 2167 100 67 85
Static 2175 100 67 85
Static 6906 100 67 85
Static 6933 100 67 85
Static 6949 100 67 85
Static 7047 100 67 85
Static 7049 100 67 85
Static 7051 100 67 85
Ztatic 6959 100 67 85

Summarizing Zhuhai was a most interesting event, which stood out more by quality than by the (hoped-for) quantity. Unfortunately the expectations were maybe risen a bit too much when announcing the participants, but nevertheless it has been an easy accessible event that enabled the visitor to get a glimpse at many very rare items that as such can be seen nowhere else.

1 700 470 90
1 100 67 85
Hallen 6890 100 67 85
So 2370 100 67 85
So 6932 100 67 85
So 7016 100 67 85

With the rise of China's aviation industry it remains to be seen how the international participation will develop at the next event in 2012.

To conclude this iis a short overview of the civil movements (as well as some military B737s) during the showdays, unfortuantely obstructed by very hazy air and backlit conditions:

Zivil 1139 700 470 90
Zivil 1139 100 67 85
Zivil 1140 100 67 85
Zivil 1995 100 67 85
Zivil 1996 100 67 85
Zivil 2148 100 67 85
Zivil 6623 100 67 85
Zivil 6672 100 67 85
Zivil 6682 100 67 85
Zivil 6828 100 67 85
Zivil 6849 100 67 85

User Rating: 0 / 5

Rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

recently published

Wings over Houston Airshow

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Wings over Houston 2017 was an awesome airshow! Plenty of warbirds, a Messerschmitt Me 262, jets from the Vietnam era, amongst them the venerable F-4D Phantom II, made up for a great program. This great mix on show at Ellington Airport in the South of Houston was enriched by aerobatic acts and the USAF Thunderbirds. With a 34-year long history the airshow is still very much alive and kicking!

Read more ...

more Airshows

Gifu Airshow

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

November 23rd, Kakamigahara area, Japan. On this beautiful autumn afternoon the calm winds blows and lightens the trees from their autumn colored leaves. Families are sitting in the park with their children and watch a formation overflight of 11 aircraft of the JASDF Flight Test Wing ADTW. It is the day of the Gifu airshow!

Read more ...

more Air-Air

Yak-3 D-FJAK - A Red Star over Germany

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

During the summer 2003 I have had the possibility to make a photo flight with the then only flying Jak-3 in Germany.
The Jak-3 with the registration D-FJAK is based in Freiburg, a city in the southwest of Germany and beautifully located between the banks of the river Rhein and the Black Forest.

Read more ...

Twitter feed

My Warbird Book

Warbird Book