China’s Air Force again Recruiting Female Fighter Pilots
The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is recruiting female fighter pilots anew and plans to select 35 candidates this time around.
The last time the PLAAF recruited female pilots was in 2013.
The website of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said the 35 candidates will be selected from high school graduates in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Recruits that pass six years of stringent training will go on to become the 11th generation of female pilots since 1951.
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Since then, about 580 female pilots belonging to 10 generations have joined the PLAAF. The first seven generations of female pilots flew only non-combat transport planes.
In 2005, however, the PLAAF began to began recruiting female fighter jet pilots. More than 200,000 female graduates from high schools around China applied.
A total of 35 were selected and sent to PLAAF No 3 Flight Academy, and 16 graduated and became fighter jet pilots.
The ninth generation of female fighter pilots, also numbering 16, graduated in 2013 and also joined PLAAF combat units.
The most recent generation, the 10th, including 40 women, joined the PLAAF in 2013. Twenty-seven women completed their first solo flight in March,.
The requirements for becoming a female fighter pilot are severe.
Applicants must stand between 165 cm and 185 cm tall and weigh between 85 and 120 percent of the Chinese people's standard weight, which varies in accordance with age and height. There are also vision requirements.
Applicants need to have been born between Aug 31, 1997 and Aug 31, 2000.
Applicants must take part in the national college entrance exam and their total scores must meet requirements set by local education authorities to qualify them for selection, which will start this month and end in July.
Courses and training for female pilot candidates are the same as those for male candidates. Women will learn from textbooks; take part in flight training on basic and advanced trainer aircraft and will graduate after at least six years at the PLAAF Aviation University and flight academies.