China Shows Advanced Jet Trainer at ‘Civil’ Airshow

 - September 17, 2007, 6:22 AM

The Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong earlier this month was supposed to be a civil-only event. But the main China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) stand was dominated by a large model of the L15 advanced combat jet trainer. AVIC also released a DVD, which while showing the ARJ21 and MA60 regional passenger transports, was dominated by footage of China’s front-line combat jets. The L15 is a twin-engine design that first flew last year, and closely resembles the Yak-130. It is being developed by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, whose chairman Wu Fanghu told a conference during the show that Russia was only one of four risk-sharing countries on the L15, the others being the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Ukraine. AVIC also displayed models and brochures of the K-8 basic jet trainer. Fanghu revealed that Egypt is buying another 40 K-8s in its co-production deal, making a total of 120. Hongdu plans to fly the prototype of a new turboprop trainer next year, Fanghu added. It looks similar to the Pilatus PC-21 and will be fully aerobatic.