China to conduct flight tests for aircraft of key ‘strategic and historical importance’


By Liu Xuanzun (Global Times) 09:00, 08 July 2022

An unknown plane covered with a blanket is seen in a recruitment video released by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force. Photo: Screenshot from the 2021 PLA Air Force recruiting video

China plans to conduct a flight test for an important aircraft type that has crucial strategic and historical significance, a senior official at the flight test center of China’s main combat aircraft supplier has said. at a recent meeting.

The remark was made by Ge Heping, party leader of China’s state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) flight test establishment, at a rally on Tuesday to mobilize personnel involved in the essay, Xiakedao, the new media platform of the People’s Daily overseas edition, reported on Wednesday, citing an establishment press release.

Ge urged all personnel involved in the development of the aircraft to fully realize the extreme importance of completing this mission, according to the report.

Neither the report nor the press release disclosed the aircraft’s designation or nature.

Many netizens speculated during the report’s commentary session that the aircraft in question could be the long-talked-about H-20 strategic stealth bomber. Only a strategic weapon deserves the description of strategic and historical significance, some have said.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force gave a hint about the design of the flying wing of its next-generation long-range strategic stealth bomber by including it in a scene from the video of recruitment of the service in January 2021.

A promotional video for AVIC released in May 2018 also showed the front outline of a similar aircraft covered with a blanket, suggesting that the flying wing design was similar to the American B-2 bomber.

Given all these official clues, public speculation that the new plane could be the H-20 makes sense, but it could be an over-interpretation, a Chinese expert who follows the development told the Global Times on Thursday. of the Chinese aviation industry. , requesting anonymity.

There are other possibilities for the unknown aircraft, including the purported catapult-launched variant for the J-15 carrier-based fighter jet and the purported J-15 carrier-based stealth fighter jet. 35, said the expert. He noted that they are expected to board China’s third aircraft carrier, the 80,000-ton class Fujian, equipped with an electromagnetic catapult, which certainly has strategic and historical significance.

Still, it’s great to see new progress in China’s aviation development, the expert said.

Founded in 1959, China Flight Test Establishment, also known as AVIC Flight Test Center, is China’s only organization qualified to perform validations and flight tests for aeronautical products, including military and civilian aircraft, aircraft engines and airborne equipment, reads the establishment’s self-description.

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)


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