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Female jet pilots will fly in parade

SIXTEEN Chinese female jet fighter pilots will take part in the National Day parade to be held in October to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, a military source said yesterday.

The pilots will begin preparation for the parade soon.

The pilots are the country's first batch of female jet fighter pilots. Previous female pilots recruited by the Air Force of People's Liberation Army were mostly assigned to cargo aircraft piloting, navigation or telecom services.

The 16 pilots, aged 21 to 24, graduated after almost four years of training at the Jinzhou-based Third Army Aviation Institute, the alma mater of China's taikonauts Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming.

Zhang Jianqi, deputy chief commander of China's space project, said early in March that the country was selecting a new batch of taikonauts, which may include its first Chinese female taikonaut.


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