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Female pilots to make debut in historic parade

[ 2009-04-03 13:37]     字号 [] [] []  
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The first batch of female pilots to fly Chinese fighter jets will make their debut - and history - at the National Day parade on October 1, it was announced yesterday.

All 16 women, who range from 21 to 24 years old, graduated with distinction in five final assessments after 44 months of training at the Third Flying College, the First Flying College and the Aviation University of People's Liberation Army Air Force, reported Xinhua News Agency.

And their reward will be becoming the first female pilots involved in the National Day celebrations. This year will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China.

Deng Changyou, political commissar for the air force, attended the pilots' graduation ceremony. He said China had finally fulfilled a dream, while an official who refused to be named told Xinhua: "Due to the improvements in flying ability, the accumulation of training experience and modern military needs, we've started to train women combat pilots. The air force plans to increase their numbers to enable women to enter all areas of military service."

The 16 newly qualified pilots all underwent 28 months of basic training, which included parachute jumping and field survival training at the Aviation University of the China Air Force, as well as 16 months of flight training. Each now has an average of 135 hours of personal flight time.

Zhao Jingbo, deputy director for military training at the air force command, said they had also passed comprehensive examinations on political and military theory, flight skills, management and mental health.

So far, 545 female trainees have enrolled at the air force college, with 328 having graduated and 52 now working in air transport, according to official statistics. "With our strict training regime, female pilots can do what men can do," added Wu Huiming, dean of the third flying college.

As well as China, 15 other countries allow women to fly fighter jets, including Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. The US has trained nearly 300 women since females were permitted to enroll at its military flight schools in 1976.

Following the end of the Cold War, China initiated several development projects, such as the Jian-10 and Jian-11 aircraft. Another low-cost, light jet fighter—the FC-1—has also been developed for both the international and domestic markets.


1. What was the total amount of training the16 female fighter pilots received?

2. How many average hours of personal flight time does each pilot now have?

3. What kind of comprehensive examinations did the women have to take?


1. 44 months.

2. 135.

3. Political and military theory, flight skills, management and mental health.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Female pilots to make debut in historic parade

About the broadcaster:

Female pilots to make debut in historic parade

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.