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Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 Falcon

China (2010)
Picture of Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 Falcon Advanced Jet Trainer / Light-Attack Aircraft

The Hongdu L-15 advanced trainer and light strike aircraft exists in several flyable prototype examples as of March 2014.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 Falcon Advanced Jet Trainer / Light-Attack Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 1/5/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Supersonic trainers are an integral part of the military aviation regime for any world power. Supersonic trainers bridge the gap between intermediate and full-fledged mounts, providing soon-to-be pilots with the necessary training in high-speed flight and engagement tactics. China, in its desire to become evermore independent in its foreign military purchases, has now looked to Hongdu to deliver such a vehicle in the L-15 "Falcon". The aircraft remains in development as of March 2014 and is in the same classification as the competing Italian Aermacchi M-346, Russian Yakovlev Yak-130 and South Korean KAI T-50 "Golden Eagle".

Externally, the L.15 appears as a dimensionally compact version of the American F/A-18 Hornet sans its twin-rudder tail. It sports wing root extensions along the cockpit walls leading up to a well-contoured fuselage which incorporates a twin engine side-by-side configuration. The wings feature sweep along their leading edges and lessened sweep along their trailing edges. Wingtips can mount air-to-air missiles while the undercarriage is very conventional.
As designed, the L-15 seats a crew of two - student and instructor or pilot and co-pilot depending on role. Overall length is 40 feet with a wingspan reaching 31 feet and height of 15.8 feet. The aircraft features an empty listed weight of 9,900lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight nearing 14,300lbs. Power is served through 2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25 OR 2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25F afterburning turbofan engines of Russian origin (by way of the Ukraine). Maximum speed is listed at 924 miles per hour (approx. Mach 1.4) with a combat radius of 345 miles and ferry range of nearly 2,000 miles. The L-15 can reach an altitude of 52,500 feet and showcases a rate-of-climb nearing 39,350 feet per minute.

Origins of the L-15 begin with a People's Liberation Army Air Force and Navy request for a supersonic trainer with inherent light attack capabilities. Such aircraft have been a proven commodity of many-an-air-power since the days of the Cold War where double-duty of a single design became the call of the day. These aircraft feature all-modern systems with strong performance capabilities and can be used in both advanced training and weapons delivery as required. In the light strike role, it is assumed that the L-15 would mount various Chinese/Russian weaponry including missiles, precision-guided munitions, conventional drop bombs, rocket pods and gun pods.

While largely designed in China, it is a feasible thought to include some Russian involvement with the Yakovlev concern having been tied to the Chinese project due to its sheer complexity and use of Russian powerplants. A full-scale mockup was displayed at Zhuhai Airshow 2004 with a flyable prototype shown the following year. First flight was recorded on March 13th, 2006. It is believed that the aircraft was then formally introduced between 2008 and 2010 with flight testing ongoing as of March 2014. A 2013 confirmation by Hongdu representatives during 2013 Paris Air Show confirmed the type has been ordered by the Chinese military in number as well as a foreign party showing interest in procuring the type.

To date, the L-15 is known to have been ordered by Zambia while other foreign customers have shown interest in acquiring the still-in-development trainer. The PLAAF will operate the L-15 Falcon as the "JL-10".

January 2018 - The Zambian Air Force is confirmed as an operator of the L-15 with a six-strong fleet. China is confirmed as operating two of the type with its People's Liberation Army Air Force branch.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1100mph
Lo: 550mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,056mph).

    Graph average of 825 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 Falcon's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
12
12


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: China
Year: 2010
Type: Advanced Jet Trainer / Light-Attack Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Hongdu AViation Industries Corporation (AVIC) - China
Production: 12
Status: Active, Limited Service
Global Operators:
China (limited); Venezuela (possible); Zambia (in-service)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 Falcon model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
40.26 ft


Meters
12.27 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
31.10 ft


Meters
9.48 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
15.75 ft


Meters
4.8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
9,921 lb


Kilograms
4,500 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
18,960 lb


Kilograms
8,600 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25 OR 2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25F turbofan engines.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
1,056 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
1,700 kph


Knots
918 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,926 mi


Kilometers
3,100 km


Nautical Miles
1,674 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
52,493 ft


Meters
16,000 m


Miles
9.94 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
656 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
200 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft cannon pod
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (7):

Variable. Assumed air-to-air and air-to-surface missile support, precision-guided ordnance, conventional drop bombs, rocket pods, gun pods, cannon pods and jettisonable fuel tanks.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• L-15 - Base production model with non-afterburning turbofan engines.
• L-15B - Variant with afterburning turbofan engines.
• JL-10 - PLAAF designation