, LIAONING AIRCRAFT-CARRIER, Nov 26 – Successful aircraft landing exercises on China’s first aircraft carrier mean the country is now capable to deploy fighter jets on the carrier, a senior navy officer said on Sunday.
Pilots have mastered key skills to ensure the success of the take-off and the landing, especially under unfavourable conditions such as poor visibility and unstable airflow, said Vice-Admiral Zhang Yongyi, a deputy commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
“It’s like ‘dancing on a knifepoint’ as the aircraft have to land on a very limited space,” Zhang said while commenting on the successful flight landing recently conducted on the carrier, the Liaoning.
The aircraft must land precisely over a very short and narrow runway on the carrier at a speed of several hundreds of kilometres per hour, Zhang said in an interview with Xinhua Sunday, after the J-15 fighter succeeded in the landing tests.
“We have done all these test flights from the very beginning, and finally we mastered the key skills for the landing of carrier-borne aircraft,” said Zhang, who is also the commander-in-chief in charge of the tests and training program of the flight landing.
Currently, the Chinese pilots have found out the right ways to conduct the landing and they have consolidated their skills, according to the Navy officer, who himself is a meritorious pilot of the Chinese naval air force.
Zhang said the carrier-borne aircraft and special equipment for the landing flight have gone through strict tests, and fighter jets can be deployed on the aircraft carrier.