Last month the southern China city of Zhuhai hosted a large collection of aircraft at Airshow China. We’ve been hearing about this once-closed country in matters of aviation so often, I thought it would be something different to show a collection of photos taken by my LAMA Europe colleague, Jan Fridrich. He works for the Czech Light Aircraft Association and you know his name as the man who does the hard work to gather figures for our regular LSA market surveys.
Another associate of mine, Will Escutia, one of the new owners of Quicksilver Aeronautics, also traveled to China recently. Visiting dealer prospects in the north of the large country Will reported that he sees four main forces driving the opening of aviation in China: (1) airspace below 3,000 meters is opening to civilian aircraft; (2) high interest in flying follows that airspace opening; (3) government is concerned about their economy and aviation is seen as helpful; (4) entrepreneurs are jockeying to take early advantage of the burgeoning market.
Will observed the limitations to growth as bureaucracy and regulations that stifle faster development; the need for a Type Certificate with costs that are still too high; a need for a commercial pilots license; laws that hold a pilot responsible for any death, a deterrent to wealthy Chinese; and flying between cities remains prohibited so pilots can fly only about 60 kilometers around airports and you need to land where you took off.
As he is not fluent in Chinese, Jan was not able to determine the brands of all aircraft but it’s still fun to see what showed at Zhuhai. Some you’ll recognize and captions will name aircraft that could be identified. Thanks to Jan Fridrich for all these photos!