China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, or Zhuhai Airshow, is the largest airshow in mainland China. It has been held in even years in Zhuhai, Guangdong since 1996. We’ll call it Zhuhai. Zhuhai is easily the most prolific, and significant, publicly disclosed aviation event in the country. One might say it’s the Paris Airshow of East Asia, and some might say it’s just as – if not more – significant. Below is a video overview of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF’s) pavilion at the 2021 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. Below the video is a call-out of some of the displays seen. People’s Liberation Army Air Force Pavilion Video: Defence Simplified The Chengdu J-20, also known as Mighty Dragon, is a single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, stealth, fifth-generation fighter developed by China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The J-20 is designed as an air superiority fighter with precision strike capability; it descends from the J-XX program of the 1990s. The J-20 made its maiden flight on 11 January 2011 and was officially revealed at the 2016 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. The J-20 is the world’s third operational fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft after the F-22 and F-35. – video screenshot The Shenyang FC-31 Gyrfalcon (or the “Chinese F-22”), also known as the J-31 or J-35 is a twin-engine, mid-size fifth-generation jet fighter developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. J-XX nomenclatures in the Chinese military are reserved for programs launched and financed by the People’s Liberation Army, while FC-31 plane was developed independently as a private project by the aircraft manufacturer. – video screenshot Tail section of the FC-31 – video screenshot A beautiful large-scale model of the Xi’an Y-20. The Xi’an Y-20 is (or “the Chinese C-17″) a large military transport aircraft. The project is being developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation and was officially launched in 2006. The official codename of the aircraft is Kunpeng, after the mythical bird that can fly for thousands of miles described in the ancient Chinese Taoist classic Zhuangzi. However, within the Chinese aviation industry itself, the aircraft is more commonly known by its nickname Chubby Girl (Pàng niū), because its fuselage is much wider compared to other Chinese aircraft previously developed in China. – video screenshot The Harbin Z-20 is a medium-lift utility helicopter (or “the Chinese Black Hawk” – the civilian variant of the Black Hawk, the Sikorsky S-70C-2, has been in use by the People’s Liberation Army since 1984). The Z-20 is produced by the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG). It was first flown on December 23, 2013, and has a maximum takeoff weight in the range of 22,000. The Z-20 can operate from locations above 13,000 ft., as well as from China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier. – video screenshot The site of the 2021 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition where the CH-6 was presented. Coords: 22°01’14.51″ N 113°22’56.89″ E. Sat imagery date: 01.14.2018. Artwork by the author. Imagery courtesy Google Earth and CIAAE. Click here or on image for hi-resolution image.
Return to The Florida Pilot