The Q-5, J-7, J-8 and older PLAAF aircraft


Totoro

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I see Scramble.nl using J-7L name. That's new to me. What version is L? I assume it's some kind of modernized older J7II, but what sort of modernization are we talking about? And when was it carried out, when did that "L" first start popping up?

The same website currently lists
3 units using J7G
4 units using J7E
2 units using J7L
4 units using J7H
1 unit using J7D
and 9 units using J7II

I must say I find that distribution highly unlikely. J7Es should be more numerous, given that we know they were produced in higher numbers for PLAAF. Plus some years ago there were indeed more E units listed, something like 7+. So it's likely that scramble updated the units trading in their E models for newer planes (like J10 or whatever) but they could not track where those E models went to. So they just left the old J7II in some units which should have, by all logic, received those hand me down J7Es.

There's a chance L model is in fact E model but that alone doesn't make the math work either. Plus it's debatable if J7Es would get modernized further now that they're fairly close to end of their service.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
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Nope, the J-7L is an updated J-7E with some systems from the J-7G
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Ah, so those J7G that i know were made by upgrading E models to G standard are not in fact labeled as G anymore but they have retroactively received a new name - the L model. (I am talking about china watchers here, of course PLAAF themselves might have used the L name right from the start, 10 years ago)

Anyway, are some of those unit type numbers out of date now, Deino? 9 units still using J7II and 1 unit still using J7D sound most likely to be incorrect. Especially if it was true that a unit sporting J7H switched to J-8. I mean, what happened then to those J7H? Did a 30 year old J7H airframe go to yet another unit, changing owners? Sure, retraining time would be minimal with an unit already using J7II but still...
 
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DGBJCLAU

New Member
Registered Member
9 units still using J7II and 1 unit still using J7D sound most likely to be incorrect.
Seems to me it's because those "J-7II"s are those used for training and conversion. There are quite some units of that category.
 

Bltizo

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This museum piece is still in service?
I think this has been discussed endlessly before.

The continued service of old aircraft is useful for maintaining the existing number of units so it is easier for them to convert to newer, more modern aircraft when it gets around to them. Retiring older aircraft without a replacement to convert to, likely means disbanding the unit itself and giving them more work when they inevitably move to reestablish the unit.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
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This museum piece is still in service?

Also, given their red coloured serial numbers they are from one of the Flight Academies and therefore not from a front-line unit but a training unit.
 

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