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2010 Air Shows

Zhuhai 8th International Chinese Air Show Nov. 16-21

Location: Zhuhai, Province Guangdong, China
Trade days, 500 Renminbi(72 €) approx $100 US
Public days, 300 Renminbi (43 €) approx $55 US
Parking: Not noted
Value: Fair
Show layout.
Zhuhai, whose name means the Pearl Sea is located in the Province Guangdong where the Pearl River flows into the South Sea. Zhuhai borders the former Portuguese colony, Macau, to the south. Zhuhai is one of China's cleanest and prettiest cities, with palm trees every where you looked. .
You can get to Zhuhai by high speed ferry from Hong Kong in 1 1/2 hours. To get to the airport the location of the air show, from the ferry terminal one can take a taxi or by bus, approx. time is one hour, and taxis are relatively inexpensive. Warning: Upon leaving Hong Kong, English is not spoken or any Western alphabet used for signage, or direction. It helps if one can speak and read Chinese. As for food, you can forget any western style food or eateries, and if this is not the place even to try finding anything similar. However, one can trust Chinese food, it is very good. In restaurants all their menu's are in Chinese letters. So, while I was there, I ate most of the time with vendors on the roadside. You see what you eat. It was good and inexpensive. Try it! Food courts at the Air Show were available, with one restaurant that advertised, You can get “western-style food here!!”
The weather in Zhuhai is sub-tropical, and for November it was fantastic, between 20 to 30 Celsius. However, it was not the best for photography, during my 2 ½ day visit to the air show. It was too misty and hazy and that cut down the visibility to no more than 300-400 meters. It was even an issue when I tried to take static images
Entrance to the air show was very fast. The young volunteers and the Chinese military staff performing security checks were very quick, professional, helpful and very friendly. I would like to thank all of them for their professional job.The entrance on the trade days cost 500 Renminbi(72 €) and on public days 300 Renminbi (43 €) which were very expensive for Chinese people. The sanitation facilities were sufficient, and very clean. Perfect!
The 8th International China Air Show was definitely not an Air Show as we have become accustomed at European or North American venues. Flying displays were seldom, if not at all, and note: the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF --> People's Liberation Army Air Force) jets or helicopters did not flew. However, the Chinese Air Force demonstration team "August 1 st," and the PLAAF parachute team did perform. If one went to see frequent air displays, as one finds at typical air shows else where, they would have been disappointed and would have been a waste of money, in our opinion. What it actually was a well organized trade fair, which demonstrated the power of the Chinese aviation, space and defence industry and other countries, especially Pakistan with a few exhibitors from Europe and the United States.
The star of the event was undoubtedly the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). I would like to thank the staff of the Pakistan Air Force, especially to Wing Commander Ali, who gave me a warm welcome in their chalet, where I stayed for a while. The PAF flew three of their JF-17 Thunder and the Pakistan Air Force display team "SHERDILS" flew the PAC K-8 Karakorum jet trainer. The team consists of a 9 jet formation. On the first day of my visit, the team cancelled flying due to the bad weather. On the second and third days, at first they wanted to try with seven aircraft, but had to settle with only a 4 jet formation.
The JF-17 Thunder from the PAF, this was their first event outside Pakistan in a flying demo. The PAF demonstrated the maneuverability of the aircraft in a very impressive demonstration. The Chinese Air Force Display team August 1st flew with the Chengdu J-10. As information for our readers, at the end of 2009, the August 1st aerobatic team began its transition to the newer Chinese built, multi-role fighter Chengdu J-10. The aircraft are painted in white, blue and red colours. Zhuhai 2010 was the debut for the team with this new aircraft. Also a brand new aircraft from the Chinese Air Force was the Hongdu L-15 Falcon trainer. A very powerful bird. It was the first time for the public to see this aircraft. The one at the air show was the 6th aircraft built. And another very very rare aircraft, also the first time in public, was the reconnaissance plane Shaanxi Y-8/KJ200. It was very impressive for me to see this plane! The new helicopter Harbin 9WA was also one of the stars in the static display.
The parachute team from Chinese Air Force was the best parachute display I've seen to date. Jumping from helicopters, there were several different groups disguised as a dragon, while other groups performed with pyrotechnics. Their formations were very precise, and exciting.
There were a number of civilian planes displayed to the public for the first time. Such as the AVIC ARJ-21. AVIC signed a contract with COMAC for 100 aircraft. The brand new helicopter AC313 flew for the first in the public. A new Chinese company named Sunward, presented their completely developed and produced in China light plane: Aurora. The engine built by Rotax, an Austrian company. I would like thank Xinagfu Zouand, Vice General Manager, and his Italian test pilot, for letting me stay with them, photographing while on the ramp on Thursday.

Some of the aircraft that either flew or where on static display :

  • PAC K-8 Karakorum (Sherdils)
  • JF-17 Thunder
  • AVIC ARJ-21
  • Chengdu J-10 (August 1st)
  • AC313
  • Shaanxi Y-8/KJ200
  • Hongdu L-15
  • Shenyang J-8F "Finback"
  • Changhe Z-8
  • Xian H-6H
  • Xian JH7A
  • Pilatus Porter
  • Boeing BBJ
Rating: 7 out of 10
Chinese Air Force Parachute Team
Chinese Air Force demonstration team August 1st  with their Chengdu J-10
Pakistan Air Force display team SHERDILS flew the PAC K-8 Karakorum jet trainer.
xian h6h  -- looks like a Russian Tu-16 bomber from 1954
Review by Wolfgang Jarisch for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
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