Chinese Air Force intensifies jet training for pilots
Published: Mar 09, 2020 12:56 AM

China's basic trainer aircraft CJ-6, intermediate trainer jet K-8 and advanced training and light combat aircraft L-15 jointly put on a flight performance for the first time at Nanchang Flight Convention in East China's Jiangxi Province on November 2, 2019. Photo: IC


Jet fighter pilot cadets at a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force flight school have received intensified training with the newly commissioned JL-10 Falcon, an aircraft designed to familiarize cadets with the country's top combat planes like the J-16 and J-20.

Chen Ming, a member of the first pilot cadet class at Shijiazhuang Flight Academy with the PLA Air Force used the JL-10 to learn basic flying techniques in 2019, and has been participating in solo tactical training since the Spring Festival holidays ended, the PLA Air Force Online reported Thursday.

In late 2018, Chen's group was the first to use the new plane, a domestically developed training aircraft at the academy. Flight school officials spent six months developing the program, which trains flight instructors on how to teach cadets, the report said.

The report offered detailed information on the academy's training, and a photo reveals at least seven JL-10s flying in formation.

The report found that the Shijiazhuang Flight Academy was satisfied with the JL-10 and recognized its performance during the specialized training, said Weihutang, a columnist on military affairs affiliated with China Central Television, on Thursday.

The JL-10 is an incubator for third- and fourth-generation jet fighter pilots, Weihutang explained. The third- and fourth-generation in Chinese standard equals to fourth- and fifth-generation in international standard, which includes fighter jets like J-10, J-11, J-16, and J-20.

Known as the L-15 for its export model, the JL-10 Falcon is a newly developed training and light combat aircraft that uses advanced technology, including an advanced aerodynamic design, a fly-by-wire control system, and an open avionics structure. It is equipped with many advanced technologies that other Chinese trainers, like the K-8, do not have, analysts said.

China will train more pilots with advanced aircraft, as more fighter jets are being commissioned by the Air Force, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Sunday.

When required, the JL-10 can also be equipped with weapons and serve as a ground attack aircraft, so it is not just a trainer, the expert said.

It also has the potential to be developed into a type of aircraft carrier-based training jet, Weihutang said.