Now emerging as a world power - both in terms of its economy and its military prowess - the development of Chinese military aviation has, until recently, been shrouded in mystery. Originally, China closely allied itself with the Soviet Union, its Communist neighbour, and its developing aircraft industry was closely modelled on Soviet aircraft. However, by the 1960s the two countries were at odds and as China was still also isolated from the West, the Chinese aircraft industry was forced to follow its own path and develop its own unique aircraft designs. Although more recently China has had more open relations with the West, and has imported some designs from the USA and Europe, its military aircraft production remains a large, potent and unique industry that is largely unknown in the West.
Very little has been published in the past on the subject because of the difficulty of obtaining information but aviation author Andreas Rupprecht have been researching this subject for a number of years, both from the perspective of interest in the Chinese aircraft and also through an interest in Chinese secret aviation projects. Dragon's Wings describes Chinese fighter and bomber aircraft development since Mao's Communist Party took control of the country in 1949. The author examines in detail the design and development of the country's major military combat aircraft (fighters, bombers, attack aircraft, anti-submarine) since the industry became established after World War 2, plus a good number of design proposals which, for whatever reason, were rejected or abandoned.
About the Author
Andreas Rupprecht is a leading German aviation author and has been researching the subject of Chinese aircraft development, including secret projects, for many years, and is regarded as an authority on the subject. He has had work published in English in "Air Enthusiast" and "International Air Power Review," some of it on Chinese aircraft in collaboration with Tony Buttler.