J-10 aerobatic fighter jets of the Chinese Air Force's August 1st Air Demonstration Team perform on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow 2017 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on Nov. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhao Dingzhe)
Spectators are enjoying the chance to approach a real J-10 jet of China's Air force on the second day of the Dubai Airshow on Monday, as the jumbo went on an outdoor static display with many visitors trying to grab a view from near its side.
Six same fighter jets of Chinese Air force's August 1st Demonstration Team flew over Dubai's Al Maktoum International Airport in the first flight demonstration Sunday, leaving roaring sound and smoke trails as they made formations of barrel rolls, vertical stunts and parallel flights.
As the debut of the team in the Middle East, as well as the fourth time it performs outside China, Cao Zhen, the team commander, said the first performance was smooth and completed successfully, with many new problems having been conquered.
"The complexity and the long span of the performance tasks are the first problem," Cao Zhenzhong, the leader of the aerobatic team said, adding that former overseas performances, including 13th MAKS-2017 Airshow in Russia and Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia, undertook singular mission, while this time, the team will also visit Pakistan after the Airshow and stage aerobatic performances there on Nov. 20.
He said the new environment is also adding up to the difficulties. "The grandstand for spectators are right next to the runway, making pilots have to be more accurate in positioning, while the heat in the desert region is preventing them from doing so with unstable air pressure."
The flying display this time includes 19 routines that last over 20 minutes, and are selected and combined out of a total of 30 routines.
"I think it is very good that China shows aerial stunts here at the Dubai Airshow. China is increasingly competing with the heavyweights in the global aviation space," said Mansour Janbi, COO of Arab Express Aviation, after viewing the show.
The team is gearing up acrobatic performance training as well as the air combating training, and exploring new movements every year, Cao said, as the pilots are flying with more professionalism amid the upgrading of the aircraft themselves.
Zhang Lielin, an aerobatic team member, said that he had been flying with J-10 before he entered the August 1st team. "J-10 is a mode that based on interactive platform, with qualitative upgrade."
The J-10, with featured pair of canards and delta wing, is the first supersonic third-generation fighter designed and manufactured by Chinese indigenous technologies. The August 1 team have been fitted out with six modes of acrobatic aircraft, namely J-5, J-6, JL-5, J-7EB, J-7GB and J-10 since its founding in 1962.
Pilots are more confident with the latest J-10 jets with more advanced technologies applied, as it is easier to operated in adaption of speed, height and positions.
The performance of August 1st team is also hailed by their peer pilots. Fursan Al Emirates team leader Col. Nasser Al Obaidli said that he got a chance to see August 1st Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai, and this time, he enjoy the show as much as last time. "(August 1st is) one of the best teams we've seen coming to Dubai, we enjoy the aircraft, and such talented pilots as usual."
"Maybe one day we'd like to fly together, two teams fly in the air together," he added.
For the spectators, enjoying the aircraft, formation and routines makes enough fun.
Omar Alhoshan, founder of Alhoshan Aviation, a Saudi-based consulting-firm, said he saw "some very good stunts," and Florian Descargues, an IT support specialist of Airbus, said the display was "extraordinary. I filmed everything with my smartphone."