13 May 2020 00:00 GMT+0
A new naval variant of the Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) JL-9 Shanying (‘Mountain Eagle’) advanced jet trainer (AJT) conducted its first flight on 12 May.
This “improved” variant, which is being developed under the company’s ‘Sea Mountain Eagle’ programme, took off from Anshun Huangguoshu Airport in China’s southern Guizhou Province, said GAIC in a statement, without providing further details about the two-seat, single-engined aircraft or linking the platform to carrier take-off and landing training.
A new naval variant of GAIC’s JL-9 AJT conducted its first flight on 12 May.
The maiden flight came after the company announced on 20 April via its Weixin social media site that it had assembled the first airframe under the programme “in record time”.
A little over a month earlier, on 16 March, GAIC had indicated that it was working on a project of major importance. It illustrated the post with a computer-generated image showing a JL-9 trainer overflying one of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) aircraft carriers, fuelling speculation that it was developing a trainer aircraft suitable for carrier deck landings.
GAIC’s new naval variant of the JL-9 AJT, which conducted its first flight on 12 May, is being developed under the company’s ‘Sea Mountain Eagle’ programme.
Judging from images recently released by the company, the new ‘Sea Mountain Eagle’ variant, which was shown bearing PLAN Air Force (PLANAF) insignia, features what seem to be modified extended wingtips featuring apparent split surface airbrakes similar in design to those on the ex-US Navy Grumman A-6 Intruder carrier-borne aircraft. It also features what seems to be a different braking parachute housing.
A new naval variant of the Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) JL-9 Shanying (‘Mountain Eag...