Sunday, September 21, 2014

Which African country would that be?

According to a recent interview with China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation's CEO Ma Zhiping, there are 450 made-in-China aircraft currently cruising under the sky of Africa, including UAVs.   Smart money is on Egypt as CATIC's first African UAV operator,  if Ma was referring to those ASN-209s exported back in 2012

C28A for the Algerian Navy

This Jiangwei/F22P mod might not be state-of-the-art by today's standards but the design has been provided easy to operate and inexpensive to maintain.  Judging from comments posted on defense sites,  C28A must been a disappointment to many fanboys out there -- it is just  not "as good as the" a Daring class Type45 DDG! 

 pennant number 920

Photo of the day: size comparison, J-31 vs J-11/J11BS

Sandwiched between 3 dark gray J-11s is a J-31.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

PR photos of the day: Joint Tactical Battlegroup on maneuver in Tibet

This latest Joint Tactical Battlegroup drill is centered on the 2nd armor battalion, 54th Mechanized Brigade, Tibet MD, Chengdu MR with 20 tanks and dozens of other AFVs against "unexpected" fixed fortifications while on maneuver

Good show, still not sure how realistic it actual is.


There can be only 5

This year's PLAAF "Golden Flight Helmet" airpower competition is underway -- instead of 10 winners, this year's grand prize of being the top-dog of the entire air force is now reduced to 5.   170 pilots from all 7 regions now battling it out on top the Gobi Desert for the right to brag.  (his family reunion slide show must be unbearable)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

China Air Force's Golden Flight Helmet

Only 10 are awarded each year to Air Force’s top guns who can down bogies in mock dog fights. After all those years the PLAAF has finally learned the right way to build spirit de corps with honors and realistic trainings. So, please no more empty slogans from now on  – they don’t work and they are super cheesy.

Is me or the color scheme seems  "more red than expert"? 




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No, Chinese test pilots have not been lost during carrier development.

Western Media and "Talking Head" pundits take note!

From CDF member "xian":

Recently there have been news reports that PLANAF lost two test pilots during J-15 carrier testing and qualififcation. ([url=]here[/url], and [url=]here[/url])

These reports are clearly wrong and based on a poor translation of a unit citation published for the China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) flight test squadron at Xian: original Chinese news.

Below is the full text of the unit citation.

A better translation of the citation text shows the loss of life is one item in a list of meritorious actions, two test pilots died in the history of that "Hero" flight test squadron, not associated with J-15 testing:
This citation notes that for a long time, the unit contributed to the development of national aviation and the construction of a powerful air force, officers and soldiers have always maintained a strong fighting spirit; actively exploring the theory involved in the design, test flight, successful completion of test flight missions, filling gaps in the aviation sector; consciously resisting the temptations, calmly facing the danger of death, and challenges of equipment and physiological limits, where two comrades lost their lives. Of note is the successful completion of the J-15 aircraft implementing landing and take off from the Liaoning ship, making a significant contribution to the task.

Specifically, achievements of that particular squadron cited includes testing the J-15, and also notes two test pilots have been killed in past from that squadron.

Additionally Global Times specifically denies that the deaths resulted from J-15 testing.

Military sources told reporters, the cited unit had pilots who participated in carrier aircraft flight, but their death was from previous flight tests, no one died during carrier-based aircraft testing.

We already know when two pilots from the CFTC were killed:

-1994 while testing a JH-7 prototype:

-2011 flying a JH-7 at the China International General Aviation Convention (CIGAC):

So, sorry "experts", China has not yet lost any test pilots during carrier testing and qualification.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Photo of the day: J-15 refuel buddy

Saturday, January 04, 2014

J-15's buddy centerline refueling store

Here is one potential solution to the challenge of limited takeoff weight and range of Short take-off but arrested-recovery (STOBAR) carrier borne aircraft -- Give them a “hard point mounted fuel pod with a hose-and-drogue system” (a.k.a buddy store) This arrangement  allows carrier borne aircraft to increase their combat range as well as their take-off weight without the need of a dedicated tanker support.

Judging from the following public release photos of China’s Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark, such a buddy store is available to the Chinese Naval Aviators, assuming that they have mastered the mid-air refueling techniques of course. Given the fact that the J15 is based on the Russian SU-33, the Shangyang buddy store bears resemblance to the UPAZ-1A Sakhalin centerline refueling store series currently available in the international arms market.

SU-33's UPAZ-1A at play