China's Female J-10 Fighter Pilots

2012-08-15 20:21 BJT (chinadaily.com.cn) -- A group of Chinese female pilots have recently made their first solo flights in the J-10 combat aircraft, becoming the first female air force pilots capable of flying the multirole aircraft — the country's most advanced fighter jet. The five female pilots completed solo flights and missions navigating the J-10 on July 29 and 30, the PLA Daily reported on Wednesday. The flights took place in an airfield in North China, the paper said, without identifying the airfield's name. The Chengdu Jian-10 (also "J-10" but known to the West as "Vigorous Dragon") was originally designed as an air superiority fighter for China but was later revised to become an all-weather, day/night multirole fighter much the same vein as the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and similar Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum. China has trained nearly 500 female pilots since women were first permitted to enroll in flight schools in 1951, the paper said.

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