Shenyang JJ-1 "Red Special"

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Shenyang JJ-1 “Red Special”




The Red Special 503 trainer aircraft, also known as the JJ-1, marked China’s first independent development of a jet aircraft. This subsonic fighter trainer features a tandem two-seater layout and a single-engine air intake on both sides of the airframe.

In August 1956, the Bureau of the Second Aircraft Ministry issued an order to establish the aircraft design room and the engine design room in the 112th factory and the 410th factory respectively. The establishment of the aircraft design room aimed to address the specific needs of the Chinese Air Force and nurture young design teams. As a starting point, they decided to focus on designing a jet trainer. After conducting thorough research, the design office discovered that the Yak-11 intermediate trainer aircraft, commonly used in air force aviation schools at that time, utilized a piston propeller engine and a rear tricycle landing gear, which no longer met the training requirements for jet aircraft. Following careful consideration and approval from higher authorities, the Design officially commenced in October 1956.

The Technical design commenced in March 1957, and by September of the same year, the Prototyping work had been finished, resulting in the creation of a wooden prototype. In September, the design data was sent to the Soviet Union for consultation. In April 1958, following the approval of the Military Product Design Committee, trial production officially commenced. Originally, the first flight was scheduled for 1959. However, due to the national “Great Leap Forward” initiative, it took less than 100 days from the release of the production drawings to the completion of the final assembly.

The progress in engine development had significantly advanced, and the test run, initially planned for early 1959, was completed in July 1958. On July 26, 1958, the JJ-1 aircraft, equipped with the PF1A engine, successfully completed its maiden flight at the 112 Factory, piloted by test pilot Yu Zhenwu. On August 4, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Ye Jianying, Air Force Commander Liu Ya Lou, and other dignitaries were invited to attend the celebratory gathering.

From July to October 1958, the JJ-1 aircraft successfully completed flight tests and met all design requirements before flying to Beijing for review. The analysis of the test flight results confirmed the success of both the aircraft’s design and manufacturing. Unfortunately, during the return journey to Shenyang, the engine malfunctioned, abruptly interrupting the test flight. Subsequently, due to the trial production factory’s engagement in manufacturing another aircraft, the research could not be continued. Additionally, the air force training system underwent a transformation from a three-level system to a two-level system, resulting in the discontinuation of the JJ-1’s development. Despite Soviet experts proposing modifications to the design and subsequent efforts by the aircraft design office and Factory 112, no significant improvements could be achieved. Consequently, the sole flight test prototype remained parked in hangar 601 for numerous years until it was eventually acquired by the China Aviation Museum, where it currently resides.

Technical Data


Length - 10.56 m

Height - 3.94 m

Wingspan - 11.43 m

Crew - 2 Pilots

Maximum Takeoff Weight - 4,602 lg

Empty Weight - 3,149 kg

Engine - 1 x PF-1A Turbojet (15.7 kN)

Max Speed - 840 km/h at 8000m

Cruising Speed - 571 km/h

Service Ceiling - 14,500 m

Range - 1,320 km (With auxiliary drop tanks)


1 x 23mm NR-23 cannon

2 x FAB-250M-54 bombs. (?)

(Differs between sources)












(Book) Chinese Aircraft China’s Aviation Industry Since 1951. - Page 178 - 179

(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, Vol 4. - Page 212 - 213


+1, love armed trainers
Especially when a nation doesn’t really have any contemporary indigenous combat aircraft


+1 from me, i’d like more trainers in game :)


Big +1 from me. China needs more indigenous vehicles and this would be a perfect very low tier jet for around 6.0


My love for light attack aircraft, armed trainers, and COIN aircraft should be well-known by now, so this gets an obvious +1!

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+1, will fit well as a early jet with nothing comparable in the tree


Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.

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