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FEATURING the largest-ever exhibition-scale, state-of-the-art exhibits and enhanced professional scenario, the 10th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, or Airshow China 2014, kicked off on November 11 at the Zhuhai Airshow Centre and ran through 16.
An 11,200sqm permanent hall, Hall 4, and a 5,000sqm fabricated hall, Hall 5, plus the 1A and 1B fabricated halls and a mobile hall set up by Xinxing Cathay International Group (XXCIG), increased the number of exhibition halls to eight and indoor static aircraft display areas to 35,000sqm -- 7,000sqm more than the previous year, Zhuhai Airshow co ltd had announced.
Airshow China 2014 set a record in terms of total indoor/outdoor exhibition space, net space sales, number of aircraft on display, participating countries and international exhibitors along with enhanced trading opportunities and improved marketing promotion, airshow organisers said.
China Electronics Technology Group corp (CETC) and China Poly Group corp were making their debut at the show as co-sponsors. Newcomers included Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the Hong Kong Aviation Association. Meanwhile, national pavilions of the US, Russia and France had been expanded and the UK and Canada national pavilions had returned.
The opening ceremony of Airshow China coincided with the 65th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Air Force, which had taken the opportunity to invite senior air force officers from 27 countries including the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland and Russia.
The show was jointly sponsored by the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government, Ministry of Industry & Information Technology, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Civil Aviation Administration of China, Air Force of the PLA, Aviation Industry Corp of China, Commercial Aircraft Corp of China ltd., China Aerospace Science & Technology corp, China Aerospace Science & Industry corp, China North Industries Group corp and China South Industries Group corp, with China Electronics Technology Group and China Poly Group as collaborators and Zhuhai Airshow as the organiser.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the event, the State Post Bureau has issued two national commemorative stamps, which were on sale at the site.
Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) was showcasing a portfolio of more than 30 self-developed aircraft, along with those from the PLA Air Force. The AC313 civil copter made a demo flight and conducted a firefighting drill. Commercial Aircraft Corp of China ltd (COMAC) displayed, in various forms, the AJ21 regional liner and the C919 jumbo. The soon-to-be-delivered ARJ21-700 was on static display and made flying performances for invited users. Aircraft on static display also included renowned business jet and helicopter brand names such as Textron, Bell, Sikorsky, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Embraer.
China Aerospace Science & Technology corp (CASC) was displaying three business segments under its flag: aerospace, weaponry and space technology applications and services, including China’s key projects like Beidou Navigation and Manned Space Flight. The weaponry exhibits featured seven different types and more than 30 variants, including surface-to-surface tactic strike weapons, air-to-surface missiles, supersonic cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions, guided shells, air defence missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). They were displayed in forms of real-size products, mock-ups, bulletins or video.
China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC), dedicated to system integration of military products for export, was exhibiting six types of integrated systems including the air defence, land-based anti-warship, strike-on-surface, and UAV battle systems; the C4ISR, and rocket-launch platform in addition to products designed for single missions.
More defence equipment
Making its first presence as a new sponsor, China North Industries Group corp (NORINCO) demonstrated its strategic status as the cornerstone of China’s army weaponry R&D and the leader in the army-air force-navy joint strike programme and information equipment development. It also showcased its strength and capabilities as a leading defence industry and China’s important industry base of heavy equipment, special chemicals, and optical and electronics applications.
CSG, which made its debut at Airshow China 2012 in a quite moderate profile, returned with much enlarged exhibition space highlighting products of multiple applications including anti-missile arms, self-propelled weapons, light weapons and anti-terror equipment.
Three aerobatic teams -- August 1 of the Chinese PLA Air Force flying J-10 fighter jets, with several female pilots joining this time; Knight of the Russian Air Force flying Su-27s; and Al Fursan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force flying seven Aermacchi MB-339A jet trainers -- performed daily.
The PLA Air Force also flew the heavy airlifter Y-20, China’s first operational airborne early warning and control aircraft Kong Jing-2000, and KJ-200 early-warning airplane.
Major performers also included the Airbus A380, the Chinese built ARJ21-700 regional jet, and the Bell 407GX in demonstration flights. In addition, the Russia-made Sukhoi Su-35S also demonstrated aerial flights daily.
Forums and seminars
Some 150 forums and seminars in the three trade days, including B-to-B meetings, the Aviation & Aerospace Summit, and forums on general aviation, took place. Apart from the Military Flight Training Conference 2014 to be hosted by the PLA Air Force, a series of forums, panel meetings, news conferences and product promotions, among which COMAC held an international forum on civil aircraft test flight, were held in between. Meanwhile, major projects contract signing ceremonies and annual market forecast releases for certain products were also slated.
Halls abuzz with exhibits
Hall 1 -- International Hall
Boeing, Airbus and other world-renowned aircraft manufacturing groups from the US, Russia, France, Canada and other countries as well as aviation and aerospace international leading enterprises were housed here. Area A was for Russian and Ukraine enterprises; Area B for Rolls-Royce, MTU and other world-level aero engine and maintenance enterprises; Area C for American and Canadian enterprises; Area D for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China ltd (COMAC) and European firms; and Area D for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
1A and 1B Fabricated Halls
The 3,200sqm 1A and 2,200sqm 1B fabricated halls were affiliated parts of Hall 1 and 2 international halls. They contained overflow international exhibitors, various general aviation enterprises, and professional aviation and aerospace media. Zhuhai Aviation Industrial Park had a 120sqm booth in B1 Hall to showcase and promote the city’s cultural fascinations and industrial development potentials in aviation, equipment manufacturing and other high-end service, high-end manufacturing, hi-tech industry, characterised marine economy and eco-agriculture (three high-one characterised) industrial structure. It also took the booth to promote investment.
Hall 2 -- Aerospace Hall
This mainly accommodated China Aerospace Science & Technology corp (CASC) and China Aerospace Science & Industry corp (CASIC), each having net display area of 3,000sqm.
In the meantime, various Chinese missiles represented by the improved long-range HQ-9 / FD 2000 surface-to-air missile air defence system capable of intercepting aircraft and precision-guided munitions were being exhibited.
Hall 3 -- Aviation Hall
Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) organised 11 subsidiaries and 38 member companies to showcase nearly 170 exhibits related to military and civil aircraft, helicopters, general aircraft, engines and airborne systems. The display area was 8,000sqm, and accommodates the PLA Air Force, which presents far more-advanced equipment this year.
Hall 4 -- Armaments Hall
The newly built structure houses China North Industries Group corp (NORINCO), which served as a sponsor showcasing main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, unmanned platform, portable weapon, engineering equipment, and following systems: artillery suppression, air defence, guided weapon, radar and communications, command and control, and more. Also present were China South Industries Group corp (CSGC), which had expanded their exhibit scale to cover anti-mission weapon, manoeuvring suppression weapon, light weapon, anti-terrorist equipment and so on; China Electronics Technology Group corp and others.
In the meantime, the hall also provided a 40sqm-booth for the Zhuhai Culture, Sports & Tourism Bureau to promote the city’s ample tourist resources and products.
Hall 5 -- Fabricated
The 5,000sqm temporary hall displayed military-civilian fusion technology development and related new achievements of China Poly Group corp and other domestic private enterprises and theme exhibitors.
Also displayed here were the 1.6x6 high mobility missile-launch multi-purpose wheeled vehicle, 4x4 light high mobility electro-optical radar scout vehicle, new-type phased-array radar, the 8x8 armoured modular weapon system, anti-riot denial system, light 6x6 armoured vehicle, new-type 4x4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and so on.
Hall 6 -- Xinxing Cathay Mobile
The largest globally integrated supplier of army logistical supplies, the Xinxing group had set up the mobile exhibition hall using its self-developed 1,265sqm mobile hangar, which encompassed military supplies, and security/rescue, anti-terrorist police, and hiding/disguise equipment. The country’s only and world-advanced long-span mobile hangar and 1:1 J-10 false target were also on display there.
Eighteen Chinese Air Force active-service aeronautic were on display. These cover J-10 fighter jets; Xi’an JH-7 or Jian Hong-7 twin-engine, lightweight fighter bomber aircraft; Xi’an H-6M, cruise missile carrier fitted with terrain-following system and four under-wing hard points for weapons carriage; Shaanxi Y-9, medium-sized and medium-range transport aircraft; Changhe Z-8KA helicopter and integrated reconnaissance/strike UAV. In addition, aboveground items included the Hongqi-6 soldier-portable air defence system, HongQi 12 (HQ-12) medium- to long-range, all-altitude Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system, CSK002 paratrooper assault vehicle, and ZBD-03 airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle.
THE Zhuhai Airshow Centre’s second Y-20 heavy transport aircraft, 783, conducted its maiden test flight a week before. China’s largest self-built military transport aircraft, the 220-tonne Y-20 heavy transport can carry a payload of 66 tonnes. Able to fly round-the-clock and take off and land in an airstrip, it endows China with a modern heavy airlift capability that can service overseas peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and combat airdrops of tanks and paratroopers. The US Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft, which first flew in September 1991, was also on display at Airshow China.
In the meantime, the Y-9 (Yun-9), a medium-sized, medium-range turboprop multi-purpose transport aircraft designed and manufactured by Shaanxi Aircraft co ltd, was on static display. Moreover, mock-ups of the Y-30, a new-concept design of transport aircraft like the US C-130, and other turboprop medium transport aircraft were showcased.
FD-2000 air-to-surface missile (ASM) long-range air defence system, also known as HQ-9, is part of China’s new generation of medium-to long-range missiles. Its strong command and control capabilities allow it to coordinate with other weapons systems to form a multi-layered air defence network.
ZDK-03 early-warning aircraft with advanced Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) of sophisticated integrated sensors and communications suite was designed by China Electronics Technology Group corp (CETC) specifically for Pakistan. It makes China the fifth country capable of exporting AWACS entire aircraft, following America, Russia, Israel and Sweden.
Kong Jing-2000, China’s first operational airborne early-warning and control aircraft; and KJ-200 early-warning airplane, also developed by CETC, have set nine firsts in the global development history of early-warning aircraft. They made their first public presentation as the Chinese Air Force flew the two types of aircraft during the airshow.
J-16 multirole fighter-bomber, based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKK with increased operational range, improved avionics suite and a multirole capability, also made its public debut.
China’S new upper-stage aircraft for multistage rockets, dubbed the “space shuttle bus,” developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology of China Aerospace Science & Technology corp, was being displayed for the first time. Capable of autonomous orbit control and multi-satellite deployments, the upper-stage aircraft reportedly could launch up to 10 satellites.
H631 and H660 ground-effect vehicles (GEV), both being developed by AVIC Special Vehicles Research Institute and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Institute, were making their first public appearance. With flight speed of 150-260kmh for the H631 and 200-600kmh for the H660, the GEVs were developed for sightseeing, passenger and freight transport, salvation and rescue, patrol and law enforcement between islands or around large lakes.
MBT-3000, also referred as VT-4, a recent Chinese main battle tank developed by Norinco especially for export, was also the most advanced of its kind in China and was making its first public appearance. The tank was fully digitalised and was fitted with a battlefield management system.
A real Norinco-built SR5 Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS), which was showcased at the 2012 European Army Weapons Exhibition in Paris, is the most advanced of its kind in China and was publically on display for the first time here. The SR5 system can launch both 122mm and 300mm missiles. In addition, it can reload ammunition automatically through a telescopic boom.
Also exhibited was HJ-12 or Hongjian-12 (Red Arrow-12), a third-generation, soldier-portable, fire-and-forget anti-tank missile unveiled at the Eurosatory 2014 exhibition and developed by Norinco.
HJ-12 is a fire-and-forget system utilising Lock-on Before Launch (LOBL) and is capable of being fired within buildings and bunkers due to its soft launch system. Once airborne, it will home autonomously onto its target, allowing the operator to immediately take cover or reload to engage another target.
The first prototype of Shenyang J-31 Falcon Eagle, China’s second stealth fighter jet designed and built by Shenyang Aircraft corp, was making its first public appearance. The 20-tonne, twin-engine jet is the latest Chinese stealth fighter.
Also on display there was Cirrus Vision SF50, a single-engine, low-wing, seven-seat, very light jet aircraft under development by Cirrus Aircraft. The prototype aircraft was first shown publicly at the annual Cirrus Migration on 26 June 2008, and first flown on 3 July 2008. It had received orders for over 500 such jets during the research and development process.
Other exhibits included Xi’an Modern Ark 700 (MA700), a 700-seat Chinese-designed turboprop regional airliner developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry co ltd under AVIC I. Delivery is expected in 2019.
Chang’e 3 lunar exploration satellite, which was composed of a lander and a lunar rover named Yutu (Jade Rabbit) developed by China Aerospace Science & Technology corp (CASC), soft landed on the moon in December last year. A 1:1 mock-up was on display in Hall 2.
Meanwhile, the regional Beidou Navigation Satellite System, which is in operation, was also being shown. Composed of 14 satellites, the system provides passive positioning, navigation and timing services with a positioning resolution of better than 10m for China and surrounding countries and regions. The system is supplemented by short-message communication and two-way timing.
The most up-to-date achievements in a cargo spaceship and Tiangong 2 space lab made by CASC were also on display. According to the three-step Manned Space Programme, China launched Tiangong 2 in September 15 and is to build an autonomous space station around 2020.
A prototype model of Mars rover, developed by Shanghai Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Institute along with other foreign institutes based on technology of moon rover Jade Rabbit, was on display. Other exhibits included a cargo spacecraft, the Long March 7 carrier rocket, and a high-definition Earth observation satellite.
Eighteen Chinese Air Force active-service aeronautic products were on display. These covered J-10 fighter jets; Xi’an JH-7 or Jian Hong-7 twin-engine, lightweight fighter bomber aircraft; Xi’an H-6M, cruise missile carrier fitted with terrain-following system and four under-wing hard points for weapons carriage; Shaanxi Y-9, medium-sized and medium-range transport aircraft; Changhe Z-8KA helicopter and integrated reconnaissance/strike UAV. In addition, aboveground items included the Hongqi-6 soldier-portable air defence system, HongQi 12 (HQ-12) medium- to long-range, all-altitude Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system launch vehicle, CSK002 paratrooper assault vehicle, and ZBD-03 airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle.