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China's female fighter pilots complete solo flights

08-15-2012 21:06 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Five female Air Force pilots Wednesday completed their first successful solo flights using the domestically manufactured J-10 fighter jet, the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army(PLA) said.

The five pilots completed basic operations smoothly and will move on to technical and tactical training, the Air Force said.

The PLA Air Force recruited its first female fighter pilots in 2005, when 35 potential pilots were selected from more than 200,000 senior high school graduates. Among them, 16 were chosen to undergo a four-year preliminary training period starting in 2009, with five pilots chosen from the 16 to pilot the J-10 fighter after their training was completed.

"The pilots showed a strong ability to adapt and a hard-working spirit. Their basic skills are very solid," said Wang Qin, the pilots' instructor.

More than 500 women have enlisted in the PLA Air Force since 1951, although they have been relegated to piloting cargo transport planes and engaging in navigation, communication and flight testing.

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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