K-8 (JL-8, L-11) Basic Jet Trainer

Discussion in 'Pakistan Air Force' started by HAIDER, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. HAIDER

    HAIDER SENIOR MEMBER

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    Last updated: 24 March 2008

    The K-8 Karakorum basic jet trainer aircraft was jointly developed by Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in the 1990s as a successor to the Cessna T-37 jet trainers in the Pakistani Air Force service. The aircraft was later adopted by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as JL-8 (JiaoLian-8) to succeed its ageing JJ-5 jet trainer. The later variant powered by a Chinese indigenous WS-11 turbofan engine was reportedly designated L-11 (Lian-11)
    by the PLAAF. A total of 500 examples have been built since 1993. The
    aircraft is also co-produced as the K-8E in Egypt under license.
    The PRC and Pakistan officially agreed to jointly develop the K-8 Karakorum basic jet trainer in 1986, with Pakistan bearing 25% of the total investment. The design of the aircraft began in 1987. Manufacture of five prototypes started in January 1989, and the first flight test took place on 26 November 1990. 15 examples in the pre-production variant were subsequently produced between 1992~1996, with six delivered to the Pakistani Air Force. However, Pakistan decided against domestic series production of the aircraft in 1994. While the original plan involved up to 75 aircraft for Pakistan, by early 1996 as many as 100 were reportedly desired to replace aging Cessna T-37 trainers.

    The initial plan was to incorporate the Chinese-made airframe with significant American content, including AlliedSignal (now Honeywell International Inc.) TFE731-2A turbofan engine, and Collins and Magnavox avionics. The development of this project was jeopardized by the US-led sanction following June 1989. Later the K-8 had to switch to the Ukrainian Motorsich AI-25TLK turbofan. The K-8 powered by a Chinese indigenous WS-11 (licensed copy of the AI-25TLK) first flew in December 1998, and the engine was design certified in March 2003.

    [​IMG]
    The K-8 prototype '001' in flight test

    [​IMG]
    A pre-production variant K-8 in flight demonstration

    JL-8 / L-11
    [​IMG]
    The JL-8 prototype '202' carrying rocket launcher pods and bombs under wings

    [​IMG]
    A line of the JL-8 trainer at a PLAAF flight academy

    [​IMG]
    PLAAF JL-8/L-11 carrying a new colour scheme

    K-8V (IFSTA)
    Hongdu began to develop the K-8V integrated flight test simulation aircraft (IFSTA) in 1991. The aircraft was designed to simulate the aerodynamic characteristics of modern combat aircraft. By inputting different aerodynamic parameters into its flight control computer, the K-8V can simulate the flight profile of a particular aircraft. This enables an aircraft design to be tested before a costly physical prototypes are built. For this purpose, the K-8V is fitted with a dual-redundancy analogue fly-by-wire (FBW) system. The K-8V made its maiden flight in June 1997, and was commissioned in September 1998.
    [​IMG]
    K-8V IFSTA '203' displayed during the Zhuhai Air Show

    Design
    The K-8 has low-mounted wings, lateral air intakes, and whole-piece bubble canopy. Two pilots are accommodated in a tandem, air-conditioned cockpit, with the back seat slightly higher than the front seat. The domestic variants JL-8 and L-11 differ from the export variant K-8 in avionics configuration and powerplant.

    The K-8 doesn't have a fixed weapon. There are four under-wing pylons to carry up to 1,000kg payload, each rated at 250kg. The stations can carry drop tanks, 23mm cannon pods, unguided rockets, 250kg bombs, short-range air-to-air missiles (e.g. Magic R550).

    Avionics includes the EFIS-86 system, with twin-MFD, VHF/UHF radio, VHF landing/navigation, TATAN system, and air data computer.

    The aircraft has three options for powerplant: (1) U.S.-made TFE731-2A turbofan; (2) Ukrainian-made AI-25TL turbofan; or (3) indigenous WS-11 (an AI-25TL clone, 16.87kN thrust).


    HISTORY

    First flight 26 November 1990 (K-8)
    December 1994 (JL-8)
    Variants

    K-8
    K-8E
    K-8V
    JL-8
    L-11

    DESIGN
    Crew Two
    Role Basic jet flight training

    Designer Nanchang Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG)
    Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)
    Manufacturer Nanchang Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG)

    DIMENSIONS
    Length 11.60m
    Wingspan 9.63m
    Height 4.21m
    Wing area 17.02 square metres

    WEIGHTS
    Empty 2,687kg
    Max take-off 4,330kg
    Fuel capacity 780kg (internal)
    Max payload 950kg

    PROPULSION
    Powerplant

    1X AlliedSignal (now Honeywell International Inc.) TFE731-2A turbofan, rated at 16.01kN (1,632kg, 3,599lb), or

    1X Motorsich AI-25TLK turbofan (or its Chinese copy WS-11), rated 16.87kN (1,720kg, 3,792lb)

    PERFORMANCE
    Max level speed 800km/h (sea level)
    Max climb rate 30m/s (sea level)
    Service ceiling 13,000m
    Range 1,400km

    Flight Duration 4 hours 25 minutes
    In-flight refuelling No
    G limit +7.33 / -3G
    Runway (take-off) 410m
    Runway (landing) 512m

    ARMAMENTS
    Fixed weapon None
    External hardpoints 4
     
  2. HAIDER

    HAIDER SENIOR MEMBER

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    FOREIGN SALES

    Egyptian K-8E
    In December 1999, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) signed a contract with Egypt to co-produce 80 K-8 trainer aircraft under license. These aircraft were to be built in Egypt using Chinese-supplied kits, and were given a new designation K-8E. CATIC was responsible for helping the Egyptian contractor to build the aircraft assembly line as well as providing necessary technical assistance and post-sale services.

    The K-8E features 33 modifications in the airframe and avionics from the original K-8. Hongdu redesigned the aircraft using computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) technologies. Under the co-production agreement, CATIC also promised to help Egypt build an aircraft R&D centre that would allow eventually lead to independent aircraft design and development.

    The first phase of the control involved building of the aircraft assembly line and manufacture of 80 K-8E aircraft, with a unit cost of US$3~3.5 million. The first aircraft rolled out in June 2001. The production of all 80 aircraft were completed in 2005.

    In August 2005, CATIC issued the license to allow Egypt to build a further 40 K-8E aircraft in the second phase of the project. These aircraft are thought to feature more Egyptian-made contents.
    [​IMG]
    The ceremony for the roll-out of the K-8E aircraft

    [​IMG]
    A K-8E of the Egyptian Air Force

    Pakistan
    [​IMG]
    A K-8 trainer in service with the Pakistani Air Force

    Burma
    The Burmese Air Force operates 4 K-8 trainers.

    Sri Lanka.
    The Sri Lanka Air Force was equipped with 6~8 K-8 trainers, three of which were destroyed on ground by the Tamil Tigers in 2002.

    Sudan
    The Sudanese Air Force operates 12 K-8 trainers.

    Zambia
    The Zambian Air Force operates 8 K-8 trainers.
    [​IMG]
    A K-8 of the Zambian Air Force


    Zimbabwe

    The Air Force of Zimbabwe operates 12 K-8 trainers. These were said to be upgraded K-8E variant fitted with ‘glass’ cockpit.
    [​IMG]
    A K-8E of the Air Force of Zimbabwe

    Namibia
    The Namibian Air Force operates 4 K-8 trainers.

    Ghana
    In 2006, the Republic of Ghana ordered four K-8 trainers, with the first two delivered in September 2007. The second pair were delivered in March 2008.
     
  3. echo 1

    echo 1 FULL MEMBER

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    What upgrades will the newer k-8 that Pakistan is getting have? And what avionics package will they go for?
     
  4. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    PAF K-8s differ in terms of powerplant and avionics. both are american supplied.
     
  5. shehbazi2001

    shehbazi2001 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Haider, a climb rate of 30m/s for K-8 comes out to be 5760 feet/min, which is a poor climb rate. Even the Hawk has a rate of climb of 9300 ft/min but Hawk is very old design as compared to K-8.

    Keeping in view the 50,000 to 60,000 ft/min climb rates of modern fighters, it seems that K-8 should not come out of its hanger in war. I think a higher thrust engine should be sought for K-8 in future.

    I dont intend to compare trainer with fighters but in fact it was reported that K-8 can also be used in combat, therefore, it needs to be seen against the threat. In 1965 and 1971, PAF used the RT-33s, but at that time the highest threat was Mig-21 only. Now things have changed.
     
  6. HAIDER

    HAIDER SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well i am trying to find some info about ws11 configuration. Even its mother engine is Ukrainian. That must be the reason PAF is not interested in Russian made engine.
     
  7. x_man

    x_man PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Well , considering our theatre of operations and the type of fighters that would be involved in any future conflict, I wont even bother employing K-8 or Hawk in any role except hangar queens…With sub-sonic operational speeds, barely any self protection suite onboard and low thrust/weight ratios, these two don’t stand a chance in Indo-Pak scenario…

    K-8 may be considered a fighter for airforces like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ghana or Burma etc, where there is no potent air-air threat against them and these will be basically employed to shoot/rocket/bomb at rebels, political opponents, drug lords or some other country that doesn’t have an Airforce...…Similarly is the case for Hawk …

    In training role, a rate of climb of 5760 fpm for K-8 is pretty decent and its able to perform all the manoeuvres in vertical plane very efficiently…..Although Hawks ROC is almost double than K-8s, but in their roles (training), it doesn’t make a very big difference…:enjoy:
     
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  8. HAIDER

    HAIDER SENIOR MEMBER

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    But isn't effective in northern area surveillance?. Obviously fighter doesn't fit for Indo-Pak scenario.
    As far as slow deployment in PAF, i heard after planes for PAF comes out from Chinese assembly line it take another few months because team of Pakistan engineer sitting to modify the plane, according to their need. Thats the reason JF17 has slow production. Otherwise Chinese air force already fully deployed over 106 F20s as of last month. F20 project started after FC1 . (Hong Kong newspaper)
     
  9. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Jane's Login

    New Falcon prototype flies for the first time

    Reuben F Johnson JDW Correspondent - Kiev

    A new prototype of the Chinese L-15 Falcon advanced jet trainer has flown for the first time, according to the Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG), which is developing the aircraft.

    An earlier prototype of the L-15 flew in March 2006. However, the differences in the second version, which first flew on 10 May 2008 and then again on 13 May, show how much the programme has evolved in terms of performance requirements and demonstrates the growing co-operation with the Russian and Ukrainian defence industries.

    The aircraft continues to look externally like a derivative of the Russian Yak-130 trainer, although Yakovlev's former director general, Oleg Demchenko, now head of the Irkut plant, has stressed that "this is a Chinese plane" and that Yakovlev was only involved in "the preliminary design stage". The need to train Chinese pilots on the many Russian-built aircraft in China's inventory - Sukhoi Su-27SK fighter aircraft, Su-30MKK and Chinese-built versions of the Su-27, the J-11/J-11B - makes the L-15's similarity to the Yak-130 ideal from a logistics and interoperability standpoint.

    Chinese reports also pointed out several changes that show how the design has matured and improved technologically. These include: a new engine, the Lyulka AI-222K-25, which is produced by Motor Sich in Ukraine and enables pilots to train in the supersonic envelope; a significant weight audit of the aircraft; and improvements to the pilot-vehicle interface. Overall, the designers have spent a good deal of the last two years optimising new technologies and improving the quality of the design.

    The long-term plans for the aircraft are unclear. Ukrainian sources have said that Motor Sich had an order for 100 engines from HAIG but this would be adequate to build only a small fleet of trainers. Developing the aircraft for other roles could see that number increased and the Chinese have indicated that they may pursue a navalised, carrier-capable version that would mirror the BAE Hawk and T-45 Goshawk trainers. Also, inspired by the Yak-130 and the Korean Aerospace Industries T-50, Chinese industry has explored the possibility of building a version of the aircraft that could be an attack platform for low-level close air support.
     
  10. CanadianPad

    CanadianPad FULL MEMBER

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    pBear 25% of dev cost and not even buy the system....what a waste of money.
    Who sign these contrats ????? Dont they know what they are buying. Or was it a money making scheme ?

    K8 cost Pak a lot of money and in the end got nothing out of it.
     
  11. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    on the contrary - pak gets a share of the international sales of NAMC K-8 due to the fact that we have invested 25% in the development cost., and sales of K-8 are going well to 3rd world airforces. recently Venazuela has ordered a batch of K-8s for its airforce.

    i think PAF has 12 K-8s in its inventory and a further 26 are on order for a total of 2 sqdns.
     
  12. Muradk

    Muradk PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    We have 20 K-8s and 8 will arrive in september and another 20 by next march. If every thing goes ok. With 48 we will have enough to train pilots on both platforms and get rid of FT-5's.
     
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  13. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    thank you Sir for the update. can you pls comment on the type of powerplant and avionics suite being installed on the new a/c. american or chinese?
     
  14. Myth_buster_1

    Myth_buster_1 SENIOR MEMBER

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  15. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    K-8/K-8P timelines;
    The K-8 flight established on November 12, 1994 and following the official induction of the K-8 into PAF service on January 25,1995 when six K-8s were inducted.

    The first basic flying traing (BFT) stream comprised ten cadets from the 101 GDP course.

    Therefore to provide graduates of the PAF Academy the basics of fighter flying, the first Fighter Conversion Course (FCC) commenced on November 9, 2002.

    A second batch of six K-8s were added to the fleet in July 2003, joined by a third batch of eight K-8Ps aircraft with modern avionics in September, 2007 and another eight in January, 2009.

    Today there are 28 aircraft, comprising 12 K-8s and 16 K-8Ps serving the AJTS.

    The K-8P is equipped with a multi-function HUD and advanced avionics.

    Gunnery trials have also been carried out on the K-8P aircraft, while bombing trials (level and dive) are ongoing.

    The other K-8s are now going through an upgrade process so that the PAF fleet is brought up to a common standard.

    PAF, A New Dawn - chapter 10, pg 184.
     

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