This Flying Chinese Aircraft Carrier Certainly Looks Dangerous

Kyle Mizokami
Photo credit: QQ

From Popular Mechanics

Some Chinese kite enthusiasts built what could be the world’s first aircraft carrier kite.

The kite, made to resemble China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier, is far smaller than an actual aircraft carrier, but still easily the size of a city bus. The kite flew at the 36th annual International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong province.

The kite resembles China’s Type 002 aircraft carrier, which is currently at the port of Dalian receiving a new gray flight deck coating. The kite has the same hull number (17) as the yet-unnamed carrier. Completed in 2018, 002 has already conducted numerous sea trials in the Bohai Sea.

Photo credit: QQ

The kite appears to be at least 20 feet long and is reportedly made from aluminum alloy. The model fly features Type 002’s angled ski ramp to launch jet fighters, the carrier’s distinctive island superstructure, and its flight deck markings for takeoffs and landings. A dozen model airplanes are sitting on the deck, one preparing for takeoff.

The real Type 002 carrier reportedly displaces 70,000 tons, has a crew of 2,000, and will probably embark an air wing of 36 J-15 multi-role fighters, Z-9 utility helicopters, and Z-18 medium transport helicopters operating in the anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning roles. None of the fighters on the kite's desk look like the J-15, but it’s the thought that counts.

Photo credit: VCG - Getty Images

According to the Chinese internet, the kite was built to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, the official name of the Chinese Navy. The PLAN is hosting an international fleet review this week to celebrate the occasion, with warships from around the world arriving in Qingdao for a parade.

Pictures of the kite flying in midair show it at a steep angle uncharacteristic of aircraft carriers, but entirely typical for kites. One picture shows the kite resting on its tail before takeoff, and one can’t help but feel it would be dangerous to be anywhere near it while it was in the air.

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