Chinese Air Power in the 20th Century

Rise of the Red Dragon

Andreas Rupprecht

The international community's focus is usually set on the current situation of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, its structure, order of battle and the latest types in service. Consequently - and in order to commemorate the service's 70th anniversary on 11 November 2019 - this book re-focuses on its history since the establishment of the Peop
Date Published :
February 2020
Publisher :
Harpia Publishing
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781950394005
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 11.02 X 8.27 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The international community has not only acknowledged China’s continuing rise as a world power but has also closely observed Beijing regain its place in the international community and grow to become a dominant player in the Far East.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining relevant information, Harpia’s Modern Chinese Warplanes series has filled an important void in recent years, focusing on the current situation, the structure of this growing force, its order of battle, and the latest types in service and under development.

Chinese Air Power in the 20th Century examines the different periods, explains the political events behind them and they connect to military developments, individual structure and capabilities.

This comprehensive directory provides a lavishly illustrated, in-depth analysis and overview of the historical gestation of the PLAAF and its path to becoming the modern air arm we know today.

The title also includes an assessment of how the political climate influenced the design and development of the country’s major military aircraft including the fighters, attack aircraft and bombers created by the Chinese aviation industry after World War II. This also includes a number of design proposals which, for various reasons, were rejected or abandoned.

About The Author

Andreas has been interested in China’s culture, history, and aviation for decades and began writing in 2007. With Harpia Publishing, he produced Modern Chinese Warplanes – a comprehensive directory of the PLAAF’s structure, order of battle and current operational systems, published in 2012. This was complemented by the more strategically focused Flashpoint China in 2016 and the original research is now being completely revised in three parts covering Naval Aviation (2018), the PLAAF (2018) and the PLA Army Aviation (2019). He also works as a Chinese military aviation researcher and China news reporter for international magazines.


"...a useful and well-illustrated reference guide..."

- Air & Space Power Journal

"I can never say enough good things about the quality of Harpia’s products. This book—as with all of their other products—is first-rate."

- Air Power History

"Fascinating facts liberally season the study...Rare photos and art illustrate the effort."

- Cybermodeler

"Mr. Ruppercht has compiled yet another detailed and exciting look into the world’s fastest-growing air force."


While the photos will undoubtedly be of use to modellers, this is more of an historical reference... the description of Chinese aircraft serials will be helpful to modellers wanting to  build specific airframes.''

- AirFix Model World

‘’…this workmanlike books is worth considering if you are in any way interested in the history of Asian air arms. The section on the Cultural Revolution is fascinating, particularly as it includes narrative on the Vietnam War. A superb publication.’’

- FlyPast Magazine

‘’...this comprehensive tome from Harpia will be a very welcome addition to your bookshelf. Written by Andreas Rupprecht, whose previous series of books for Harpia over the last decade on Chinese airpower has set the standard for coverage of the subject.. this is a valuable and important piece of work, and if you buy one book on this little-covered (for good reason) but fascinating subject, make it this one.’’

- The Aviation Historian

‘’Given the secretive nature of China’s military, this is an extraordinary work. The very earliest types are covered, and include rare photos of the P-51 Mustang and B-25 Mitchell. Once again, Harpia has produced a high-quality publication and I’m confident this one will soon be regarded as the definitive book on the history of the PLAAF.’’


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