Military aircraft fly past Tian'anmen Square to salute Party's centenary

2021-07-01 08:01:54China Daily Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
Special: 100 Years of the CPC

A total of 71 aircraft from the People's Liberation Army flew past Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing on Thursday morning at the beginning of a grand gathering celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

As many as 15 J-20 stealth fighter jets took part in the air parade, staging the largest-ever public display of fifth-generation combat aircraft in the world.

All of the six types of aircraft involved in the event were developed and built by Aviation Industry Corp of China, the nation's leading aircraft maker.

The air fleet was led by a Z-8L multirole helicopter, the latest in China's military helicopter family. Escorted by two Z-10 attack helicopters, the Z-8L carried a Party flag under its fuselage.

Another four Z-8Ls followed and carried banners with slogans celebrating the historic date.

The second group consisted of 29 Z-10 and Z-19 attack helicopters, forming the Arabic numeral 100 to pay tribute to the Party's 100 years.

It was followed by another group of 10 J-10 lightweight multirole fighter jets that presented the numeral 71, which symbolize July 1.

After the numeral-shaped groups, 15 J-20 fighter jets, divided into three spearhead-shaped teams, thundered past the square.

China's first stealth combat aircraft, the J-20, was designed by the AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute in Southwest China's Sichuan province and built by AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Industry.

One of the world's most powerful fighter jets, the J-20 conducted its maiden flight in January 2011 in Chengdu.

The plane was officially declassified in November 2016 when it staged a brief flight performance at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. It was commissioned to the PLA Air Force later that year, becoming the third stealth fighter jet in the world to enter service following the US' F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

Several elite units of the PLA Air Force have commissioned the aircraft.

The last to appear in the air performance were 10 JL-8 trainer planes, which also flew in spearhead form and made the world's longest colored vapor trail.

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