China Fighter-Maker Head Dies Amid First At-Sea Landing

Luo Yang, who headed China’s fighter-jet building program as chairman and president of Shenyang Aircraft Corp., died yesterday during landing tests for the nation’s first aircraft carrier.

Luo, 51, had a heart attack while helping oversee the tests, Shenyang Aircraft’s parent, state-controlled Aviation Industry Corp. of China, said today in an e-mailed statement.

A J-15 fighter, built by Shenyang Aircraft, successfully landed on the carrier Liaoning over the weekend, the first time a Chinese aircraft has landed at sea, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The Liaoning, named after a Chinese province, was commissioned in September.

The landing marked the debut of the J-15 as the nation’s first generation multipurpose carrier-borne fighter jet, Xinhua said. Shenyang Aircraft, dubbed the “cradle of China’s fighter aircraft,” has built several thousand fighter jets over past 50 years, according to its website.

The company, based in northeastern China’s Shenyang city, also builds the 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft with Cessna Aircraft Co. It makes parts for Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., Airbus SAS, Boeing Co. (BA) and Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B)

Luo, a Shenyang native, devoted more than three decades to developing Chinese aviation, according to the statement. He held a master’s degree in aircraft design from Beihang University, previously known as Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at

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