L-15 Advanced Jet Trainer
The L-15 Falcon advanced jet trainer is being developed by Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG). The development programme was reportedly assisted by Russian Yokovlev OKB. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 13 March 2006, and the second prototype #03 first flew on 10 May 2008. The aircraft is designed to provide pilot training for the third-generation fighters such as Su-27, Su-30, J-10, and J-11. The L-15 is a direct rival to the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Co. (GAIC) JiaoLian-9 in competition for the PLAAF's next-generation advanced trainer aircraft.
HAIG unveiled a full-scale mock-up of its L-15 advanced lead-in trainer (LIFT) in the 2004 Zhuhai air show. Powered by two DV-2F or AI-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburner, the L-15 has many features of third-generation fighters, such as digital quadruple fly-by-wire (FBW), glass cockpit, and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) flight control. The aerodynamic performance of the aircraft is enhanced by its large leading edge extensions (LEX) design, which gives a maximum angle of attack of 30°. This feature is highly useful when trying to simulate the manoeuvres of advanced third-generation fighters such as the J-10 and J-11.
With the L-15, student pilots will be able to complete mission flight training and advanced combat training for the third-generation fighters such as J-10 and J-11, as well as complete all basic jet flight training courses. The aircraft also has six (four under-wing and two wingtip) external pylons to carry various air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. If necessary, the aircraft can serve for lightweight attack role with minor modifications.
The HAIG has been actively marketing the L-15 to both domestic and international customers. If the aircraft is chosen by the PLAAF, the first operational variant will become available as early as 2009~2010.
Weight: Normal take-off 6,500kg; max take-off 9,500kg
Max Speed: Mach 1.4
Range: Combat radius over 550km
Service Ceiling: 16,000m
Max Climb Rate: 150m/s
G Limit: +8/-3
Last update: 26 May 2008