CHINA’S DOMESTIC‑SUIT J‑20
products. The show also provides an opportunity to inform the Chinese people of the rapid advancements the country has made with regards to new and more high‑tech weaponry. Foreign and domestic companies are competing fiercely for orders from China’s airline companies. Industry estimates put China’s demand for new aircraft over the next 20 years at nearly 7,000, worth a purported RMB6 trillion yuan. During the airshow, Guo Bozhi, Assistant President of Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, announced that they were in talks with United Aircraft Corp of Russia to build a twin‑aisle, long ‑haul commercial aircraft that would break up the sector’s international duopoly of Airbus and Boeing. The new model will have up to 280 seats and a maximum flight range of 6,480 nautical miles.
CHENGDU J‑20 MAKES ITS PUBLIC DEBUT
The star of the show was the PLAAF’s Chengdu J‑20 stealth fighter which made its first public appearance just after 10AM on opening day. A news conference on 28th of October confirmed the existence of the plane for the first time. Designed and manufactured by Chengdu
Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, it is only the fourth currently ‑operational stealth fighter jet in the world – the other three being the U.S. B‑2 Spirit, F‑22 Raptor and F‑35 Lighting II. Thousands of spectators, armed with thick glasses to protect them against the sun’s glare, gazed up in wonder as the aircraft flew overhead. (The plane took off and landed from a nearby airport.) A PLA official stated that the J‑20 contains many of China’s top stealth aircraft technology and other military secrets they wish to safeguard. Opening day, 1st of November, Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong appeared on a giant screen to send their good wishes from outer space and congratulate Airshow China on its 20th birthday. The two launched into orbit via the Shenzhou‑11 spacecraft on 17th of October from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert, northwest China. Docked at China’s Tiangong ‑2 space lab where they are living and conducting experiments for 30 days, their expedition is the longest space stay to date for any Chinese astronaut. The Red Arrows from the U.K. are the first British military jets ever to land on mainland China. The team brought a total of 12 aircraft NOVEMBER 2016