China to Debut Two New Military Aerial Teams

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 4:05 am (UTC-5)
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China's air force will introduce two new aerobatic teams this week in a sign of the military's growing public profile and sophistication.

Both aerial demonstration units will make their debut at an air show in the northeastern city of Changchun. Earlier this year, the air force began flight-testing its first stealth fighter jet.

The teams are known as the Sky Wing and the Red Falcons. Both will include experienced flight instructors and top-ranked pilots, and perform using two new Chinese-made training jets.

The military says the teams will promote international exchanges with foreign air forces.

The teams will perform Thursday with the 50-year old August First Air Demonstration Team of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

The 16-member Sky Wing demonstration team will be attached to the Chinese Air Force Aviation University, the alma mater of Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut.

The 18-member Red Falcon demonstration team will be based at the Third Flying College of the Chinese Air Force, which trained Zhai Zhigang, China's first space walker.