Frontier Chinese aviation, aerospace technologies displayed at Airshow China 2022

By Liu Shaohua

The 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China 2022, was held at the Zhuhai International Airshow Center, Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong province, between Nov. 8 and 13.

The event was joined by over 740 enterprises from 43 countries in person and online, attracting around 200,000 visitors. Cooperation agreements for 549 aircraft, worth $39.8 billion, were inked at the event.

The Airshow China is an important platform showcasing the cutting-edge technologies and innovations of the Chinese aviation and aerospace industry as well as national defense.

It is reported that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) took over 200 pieces of independently developed aviation equipment and technologies to the Airshow China 2022, up 34 percent from a year ago. Fifty-five of them were exhibited for the first time at the event.

The exhibition is a witness to the huge progress made by the Chinese aviation and aerospace industry, as well as the improving capability of China in manufacturing high-end weapons and equipment.

It only took three years for China to unveil its stealth fighter jet J-20 after the Chinese transport aircraft Y-20 debuted, and the medium-lift helicopter Z-20 with double China-made engines was also launched three years after the J-20 was unveiled.

Li Weipeng, who flies the J-20, said the engines and the avionics of the J-20 jets exhibited this time have been comprehensively updated, though their appearance remained the same.

Y-20U, a tanker variation of the Y-20; C919, China’s first homemade large jetliner; and AG600, China’s independently developed large amphibious firefighting plane, took part in a flying display at the Airshow China 2022.

Besides, the Chinese passenger aircraft MA60, the AC352 helicopter that had just obtained airworthiness certification, the newly developed Lingyan AG50 light-sport aircraft, as well as some new unmanned aerial vehicles, all appeared at the exhibition in real aircraft.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), apart from displaying its C919 passenger jet, also took the medical version of its ARJ21, China’s first turbofan regional passenger jetliner, to the airshow.

The COMAC said it has received 300 new orders for the C919 and 30 for the ARJ21 from seven leasing firms.

The SLC-18, a new P band solid-state active phased array radar developed by China, was exhibited at the Airshow China 2022. The radar can scan a wide field of space and work in tough weather and environments around the clock. It is used for upper atmosphere and space surveillance.

The Dialogue with the World, China Aviation & Aerospace Forum 2022, and the 2nd China International Aerospace Leadership Summit and Aerospace Industry Open Source Innovation and Sustainable Development Forum were held during the airshow, attracting a number of experts from home and abroad.

An information release area was set up at the airshow by the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission of China, which hosted some 20 lectures, including the ones given by the first taikonaut of China, Yang Liwei, and military expert Du Wenlong.

Exhibitors such as the AVIC, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation held a number of signing ceremonies and negotiation meetings with overseas guests.

“I can say that I’ve been to the space since I’m here,” said a visitor to the airshow, standing in front of the exhibition booth of the CASC.

The CASC brought to the airshow a 1:1 model of China’s space station combination in its T-shape configuration, bringing visitors closer to the “home” of the Chinese people in space.

The “Mars Base 1 Camp” in Jinchang, northwest China’s Gansu province, also joined the Airshow China 2022. It displayed a Mars suit designed according to the real environmental data on the red planet. Besides, it exhibited Mars-themed creative products, launched an online question game about Mars, and presented simulated Martian scenes, attracting huge attention.