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Production head of China's new fighter jet dies of heart attack

11-26-2012 23:59 BJT

SHENYANG, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Luo Yang, the head of production for China's new J-15 fighter jet, died of a heart attack on Sunday, China's Shenyang Aircraft Corp. (SAC) confirmed on Monday.

Luo experienced a sudden heart attack while participating in flight landing exercises for China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, around noon on Sunday, according to the obituary issued by the SAC, a subsidiary of China's state-owned aircraft maker, the Aviation Industry Corp. of China.

He had a heart attack onboard the carrier, and later died in hospital at the age of 51, the obituary said.

Luo, chairman and general manager of the SAC, headed the manufacturing and production phase of the J-15 fighter jet.

On Monday, flags were flown at half-mast at the gates of the SAC, which is based in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.

"Mourn General Manager Luo Yang. Luo will be immortal," read the electronic screen at the gates of the corporation, which is dubbed the "cradle of China's fighter jets."

The homepage of the SAC's website was turned black and white to mourn Luo on Monday.

His abrupt death came shortly after the J-15 fighter jet successfully landed on the aircraft carrier in exercises.

Since being delivered to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Sept. 25, the carrier has undergone a series of sailing and technological tests, including the flight of the carrier-borne J-15.

The capabilities of the carrier platform and the J-15 have been tested, meeting all requirements and achieving good compatibility, according to the PLA Navy.

Thousands of Chinese people, including Luo's colleagues, acquaintances and netizens, saluted the pioneers of China's military technology and extended their condolences to Luo.

"People in the SAC are in the deepest sorrow for Luo Yang. And we will remember him forever," read the SAC obituary.

It also said the memorial service for Luo will be held on Thursday morning in Shenyang.

"This is so unfortunate. I feel deeply sorry to hear the sad news of Luo's death," said Wu Guanghui, chief designer of the C919, China's first domestically produced large passenger aircraft.

"We had been familiar with each other since he worked at an aviation institute in Shenyang. The tall man was gentle and always energetic," said Wu.

Renowned Chinese commentator Yang Yu said in a post on Sina Weibo, China's twitter-like microblogging service, that Luo would have made greater contributions to his field if he had lived longer.

"The Liaoning Carrier will be just a starting point in the history of the development of China's aircraft carriers," Yang said, adding that everyone engaged and dedicated to the career should be respected.

"More young people will join the glorious work. May you rest in peace, Luo Yang," he said.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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