Zhuhai Airshow & Exhibition 2012

  Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
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Guido E. Bühlmann  Andy Herzog


Guido E. Bühlmann

Held for the first time in 1996, the Zhuhai Airshow & Exhibition 2012 was meanwhile the 9th edition of this fabulous airshow. As the largest airshow in China, (will be held every two years), it is also the second largest air show in Asia, after the Aero India show. In addition to the foreign delegates and exhibitors, China also shows increased skills in their own aerospace industry and this with quiet some success! 

Our chief photographer, Guido E. Buehlmann, was once more in Zhuhai; do take a closer look at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow & Exhibition.


Chengdu J-10 Fighter of the first Chinese Aerobatic-Team. One of the first advanced Chinese build jetfighter (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Suchoi Su-27 Flanker of the Russian Air Force (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)
Suchoi Su-27 Flanker of the Russian Aerobatic Team “The Russian Knights” Shenyang J-8 Finback arriving and on the static display (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)
  Xian JH-7A (FBC-1) Flounder Chinese build jetfighter arriving to the Zhuhai Airshow 2012 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Three Chengdu  JF-17 Thunder fighter jets of the Pakistan Air Force attended the Zhuhai Airshow in 2012 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)  
Chengdu JF-17 Thunder (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) This in China under licensed build Shenyang J-6 (Mig-19 “Farmer”) was surly one of the highlights at the Airshow. (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) This Shenyang J-5 (Mig-17 “Fresco”) build aircraft was showed at the static display (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

As we mentioned before the Zhuhai Airshow & Exhibition was held for the ninth time in the economy zone of Guangdong Province in China.
Were in the early editions more Russian build aircrafts/helicopter or built under license at the show, things have changed along the last previous shows at Zhuhai. More and more Chinese house made products and developments such as the short to medium range airliner ARJ21-700 "Xiangfeng" of COMAC industry can be seen on display. However, the similarity is not to overlook to the McDD/MD-80/DC-9. 

In order to meet the up-coming demands for short, medium and long-haul aircraft, the Chinese aviation industries also looks for partnerships with the very big companies in the aviation industry, such as Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier. Since 2009 the Airbus A320 family is also manufactured in a final assembly line in Tianij, China; a joint venture between China and his European partners, to meet the demand of the Chinese airlines in the near future.
But also in the military sector, China is trying not to miss the boat to the mayor key players. With the J-10, the Xian JH-7A (FBC-1) and the Z-19 attack helicopter there are just a few examples to be mentioned.


A very rare, flyable, Nanchang CJ-5 (Yak-18) was on display at the Show (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) 

Shijiazhuang Y-5B-100 (An-2) of AVIC showed very modern winglets, equal like the wingtip feeders of a condor bird (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) 

Vought O2U-4 Corsair captured by the red army in 1930 and been repainted and renamed to the name of “Lenin” (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) 

On 28th February 1930, a National Chinese reconnaissance aircraft Vought O2U-4 Corsair force landed due to running out of fuel. The Red Army captured it. It was repainted and with red star and named after 'Lenin'. It was later used against the Chinese National Government. It was the first aircraft of the Chinese Red Army



Still in service with the Chinese Air Force is this Tupolev Tu-16 Badger (Xian H-6) and probably will for further years remain in their fleets (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Based on the original frame of an Antonov An-12 this Shaanxi Y-8W/KJ-200 AEW&C belongs to the Early warning fleet of the Chinese Air Force (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)


For us "aviation enthusiasts" there were some other highlights in the 2012 edition to be admired as: 

  • Suchoi Su-27 „Flanker“ of the Russian Aerobatic team „Russian Knights“

  • JF-17 „Thunder“ Pakistan Air Force

  • Shenyang J-6 (Mig-19 „Farmer“)

  • Shijiazhuang Y-5B-100 (An-2) with special Winglets

  • Xian H-6 (Tu-16 „Badger“)  and last but not least …

  • Shaanxi Y-8W/KJ-200 AEW&C (An-12)

Chinese build light attack helicopter Harbin Z-19 of a new generation (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Changhe Z-8KA (Super Frelon) in colorful livery of the Chinese Navy (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Agusta A-109E Power of the China Maritime Safety Administration (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Bell 407GX Jetranger of the Red Bull Team (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)
Sikorsky S-76C Spirit (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) AVIC Aviocopter AC-311 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Eurocopter AS-350B-3 Ecureuil (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)


Xi'an MA60 produced based on the russian An-24  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Challenger 600, Hahnwa Airlines (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Fairchild SA227-AC, Metroliner III of the Breitling Jet Aerobatic Support Team (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Airbus A320-232, B-6388, of Sichuan Airlines (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)
AVIC Y-12F “Harbin”, B-1233 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Shaanxi Y-8C (Antonov An-12) of the Chinese Air Force (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the Pakistan Air Force (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)
COMAC ARJ21-700 “Xiangfeng” the new short/medium range airliner of Chinese own production (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Boeing B737-300 (BBJ), B-4009 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Ilyushin IL-76MD (RA-76713), Russian Air Force Transport Wing (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Pilatus PC-12/47E, Aircraft Corp. Trustee (USA) in a beautiful color livery (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Probably one of the last "Mecca" to see and take pictures of Russian or license-built aircraft such as the Tupolev's, Antonov's etc. But the efforts of the Chinese aviation industry are clearly noticeable and rapidly upcoming, also visible for all the visitors and potential customers.

Definitely worth a visit!

Next Exhibition will be held at Zhuhai, China: 11th - 16th November 2014.


Piaggio P-180 Avanti, B-8310, CFSA (China Freesky Aviation) (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)



last update 26. March 2013

written 16. March 2013


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