(A Wing-Loong drone is on static display at Airshow China 2016)
Chinese-developed aircraft have been in the global spotlight recently with a series of maiden flights of export-oriented models. China's first export-oriented armed helicopter, the Z-15E, made its maiden flight on May 18 in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province, following maiden flights by the Wing-Loong II Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and the JF-17B dual-seat fighter earlier this year.
The raft of high-end, export-oriented aircraft highlighted the achievements of "Made in China" expertise, said a statement from the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), China's leading aviation manufacturer and developer of the three aircraft models.
They were developed to meet China's strategic interests and the demand of the global market, especially from countries along the Belt and Road initiative, said AVIC.
After more than six decades of efforts, China has created a comparatively complete aviation equipment manufacturing industry. Cost-effective products have also made China more active in the global arms market.
The Z-19E armed helicopter, developed by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industrial Group (HAIG), represents China's latest achievement in pursuing the military-civilian integration strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative.
One of China's first aviation exporters, HAIG has successfully marketed its Z-9 armed helicopter and Y-12 series small fixed-wing aircraft in the world market. The Z-9 is China's most popular helicopter for export. To date, HAIG has exported 55 of them to 13 countries.
The Wing-Loong II UAS successfully completed its maiden flight on Feb. 27. With its integrated reconnaissance and strike capabilities, it won the biggest-ever export order for a Chinese UAS, even before its maiden flight.
Two months later, the JF-17B dual-seat fighter trainer made its maiden flight. And the aircraft for the maiden flight has already been ordered by Pakistan.
AVIC said it received export orders for the F-17B during its development stage, a sign of growing international confidence in China's aviation industry.
The JF-17B was targeted at the requirements of international customers and the global market.
China's aviation products still lag behind foreign peers in comprehensive competitive power and market share. However, thanks to advantages in cost performance and trading modes, Chinese aviation products are gaining a voice in the global market.