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PLAAF History

The 60th birthday of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force falls on November 11, 2009. After 60 years' development, the PLA Air Force has developed into a strategic service composed of various arms, including the aviation force, the ground-to-air missile force, the anti-aircraft artillery force, the airborne force, the radar force and the signal force, etc.

  • March, 1930 - A plane of the Kuomintang air force which got lost and made a forced landing in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui border area was captured by the Red Army led by the Chinese Communist Party. This was the first plane of the Red Army. Long Wenguang, pilot of the plane joined the Red Army.
  • September, 1945 - the Northeast Democratic Coalition Army accepted the surrender of the 4th Flight Group of the Japanese Kwantung Army consisting of more than 300 soldiers and 46 warplanes. On the basis of the 46 planes, the Northeast Democratic United Army set up its own aviation corps.
  • March, 1946 - Aviation Academy of Northeast Democratic United Army was founded in 1946 , which was the first academy producing aviation talents for the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army.
  • October 1, 1949 - 17 warplanes of the first aviation squadron of the PLA flew over the Tian'anmen Sqaure in Beijing in a military parade marking the founding of the People's Republic of China.
  • November 11, 1949 - the leading organ of the PLA Air Force was established in Beijing and the day was fixed to be the birthday of the PLA Air Force.
  • November to December, 1950 - 17 aviation divisions of the PLA Air Force came into being.
  • January. 21, 1951 - The air force of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) engaged in the first air battle with American air force in the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea. Li Han, aviation group leader of the air force of the Chinese People's Volunteers wounded one American F-84 fighter. On the next day, he shot down and wounded one American F-84 fighter each. This was the first time for the CPV air force to shoot down the warplane of the U.S. air force in the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea.
  • March, 1955 - The first heroes and models representatives conference of the Chinese PLA Air Force was held in Beijing.
  • May 26, 1956 - An IL-12 air carrier of the PLA Air Force took off from Yushu (Qinghai) Airport and landed at Dangxiong (Lhasa ) Airport. The other two IL-12 air carriers successfully landed at Dangxiong Airports on 28th and 29th respectively. The test flight of Beijing-Yushu(Chengdu)-Lhasa air route got a success.
  • September. 8, 1956 - The Shenyang Aircraft Factory succeeded in the trial manufacture of J-5, China's first jet fighter and began the quantity production of J-5 upon approval.
  • July, 1958 - The test flight of Jj-1, the jet trainer designed and made by China independently was given in Shenyang and got a success.
  • September. 30, 1958 - The J-6 fighter produced by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory made a successful maiden flight.
  • January 17, 1966 - China's home-made J-7 fighter had the first successful test flight. Its design was finalized on Dec. 28 that year for the quantity production.
  • January 7, 1972 - The No. 5 aviation division of the PLA Air Force successfully fulfilled the mission of dropping the nuclear bomb carried by a nuclear weapon transport aircraft refitted from the Q-5 attacker by the Nanchang Aircraft Factory in a nuclear bomb test.
  • December 1979 - The design of the J-8 high-altitude and high-speed fighter developed and produced by China independently was finalized. In December next year, the PLA Air Force introduced J-8 fighters for trial flights and equipped its aviation troops with J-8 in 1981.
  • December 23, 1991 - the J-8II receiver and the HY-6 flying tanker made the first successful air refueling.
  • April 1995 - China's first supersonic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made a successful maiden test flight.
  • March 1998 - China's home-made J-10 fighter made a successful maiden test flight.
  • October. 1, 1999 - In the military parade in celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, a total of 132 planes of 7 types consisting of fighters, attackers, fighter-bombers, bombers, air tankers and new-type fighters in 10 aircraft echelons flew over the Tian'anmen Square in the air parade.
  • December 1999 - China's home-made J-11A fighter made a successful maiden test flight.



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