Lu Yingyu: "Eagle" man from Changkong

  It used to be one of the most popular main aircraft types of our air force.

  In the 1990s, the world situation changed rapidly. It, as my country's domestically produced fighter with excellent flight performance at the time, guarded the country's vast air frontier.

  It is the famous J-7E.

  This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the J-7E aircraft and the 25th anniversary of the installation of the J-7E aircraft into the Air Force Bayi Aerobatic Team.

  The J-7E was jointly developed by the Aviation Industry Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group Corporation and Northwestern Polytechnical University. "Aircraft development is a big project, and all participants must work together." said Lu Yingyu, chief designer of the J-7E. It is with the unswerving and sincere unity of generations of aviation people that the rapid development of my country's aviation industry has occurred.

Sowing the seeds of "building airplanes for the country" in my heart since childhood

  Smart show off the so-called British; educator, raise also. The name given to Lu Yingyu by his ancestors embodies the good wishes of his family.

  Born in the era of war and smoke, Lu Yingyu planted the seeds of "building airplanes for the country" in his heart when he saw Japanese planes rampant in the sky of China.

  After graduating from high school, Lu Yingyu was admitted to Beijing Aviation Academy as he wished. During the five years of university, he studied knowledge eagerly, and chose the subject of supersonic wind tunnel technology for his graduation project.

  After graduating from university, Lu Yingyu was assigned to Chengdu 132 Factory (the predecessor of Aviation Industry Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group Corporation). At that time, my country's aviation industry was still toddling, and it happened to be three years of natural disasters. The working and living conditions of front-line scientific researchers were very difficult.

  "As a fresh graduate, I only have simple and primitive measurement tools..." At that time, Lu Yingyu's first task was the survey and design of the J-5A aircraft.

  The J-5A aircraft has tens of thousands of parts and components, and the surveying and mapping tasks are complicated and heavy. That period of surveying and mapping experience gave Lu Yingyu a very intuitive understanding of the aircraft production process and quality control.

  Four years later, the factory completed the manufacturing task of the rear wing of the J-5A aircraft, and Lu Yingyu was ordered to follow the aircraft to the northeast for static tests. There, he first came into contact with the J-7 aircraft and forged an indissoluble bond with it ever since.

  In winter in the Northeast, the weather is extremely cold. The borrowed cotton coat could not stop the severe cold, and the dry food that he carried with him turned into a icy tuo. The designer who came from Chengdu had frostbite on his hands and feet, and his waist was thinner.

  At this time, they received an exciting task to study the design materials of the J-7 aircraft to prepare for the development and production of new models of the 132 factory.

  In the cold days, they learned various aircraft design materials in the factory while accumulating manufacturing experience on the production line. In order to understand the design information, Lu Yingyu took time out every week to travel from the factory to the research institute to consult experts.

  "The dozen or so designers from Chengdu, led by Lu Yingyu, were all trying their best to do a big job." Lu Yingyu's colleague at the time recalled.

  Lu Yingyu and his colleagues are not satisfied with digestion and absorption technology. Beginning in 1968, the design team put forward six improvements, including aircraft guns, engines, and auxiliary fuel tanks, based on the opinions of the troops, and repeated flight tests for verification. Over the next 10 years, these ideas have gradually been realized on improved aircraft such as the F-7I and F-7II.

  To improve an aircraft requires huge data support. At that time, computing methods were very limited, and the number of factory computers was very small. Lu Yingyu could only wait for the staff of the institute to borrow with colleagues after get off work. In the middle of the night, they rode along the bumpy road. The joy of seeking knowledge is deeply engraved in Lu Yingyu's memory.

  The early explorations laid a good foundation for subsequent research and development. Lu Yingyu led the team to successfully embark on a path of independent research and development. The J-7E aircraft has also been reborn on the basis of the improved J-7II.

  Many years later, Lu Yingyu wrote in his memoirs: "This experience is very useful for me to work on the J-7 modification in the future."

Being able to design a model is his biggest wish in life

  At the end of the 1980s, the world air combat model changed-fighters changed from the pursuit of high-altitude and high-speed to low- and medium-altitude mobility. my country urgently needs to develop a new type of fighter to meet the needs of national defense.

  At that time, my country had just reformed and opened up, and its scientific research strength and overall national strength were still very weak. The leaders of the 132 factory resolutely decided: self-investment to carry out the pre-research work of the improved J-7II.

  At the critical moment, Lu Yingyu was resolutely ordered to serve as the chief designer of this type of fighter.

  At that time, Professor Sha Bonan of Northwestern Polytechnical University proposed a new wing design idea that could effectively improve the maneuverability of fighter planes in low-altitude flight.

  In January 1985, Lu Yingyu and Shabanan met for the first time in Chengdu. The views of the two sides hit it off right away-the improved fighter aircraft adopts the aerodynamic layout of double delta wings. This is the first time in my country's aircraft modification, the team members are both excited and nervous.

  During the plan review period, due to continuous fighting, Lu Yingyu's dental disease worsened and his gums were swollen and painful so that he could not sleep.

  One year later, the design plan of the improved fighter received the support and affirmation of the relevant leaders: "The modification must be responsible for history."

  It didn't take long for this improved fighter to be formally approved, the model is J-7E.

  After the development of the J-7E was fully developed, Lu Yingyu often traveled around the country to investigate. Once, his train was delayed, and when he arrived at the guest house, the gate was closed. In desperation, Lu Yingyu could only climb the window to enter the room.

  In order to verify the product quality, Lu Yingyu led the team members to conduct a series of experiments. April 26, 1990 was the day the J-7E was originally scheduled to fly for the first time. However, at the review meeting 3 days ago, some experts pointed out that the maneuverable flap system had defects, which might endanger flight safety, and the first flight was forced to postpone. An Air Force chief encouraged Lu Yingyu: "It's better. I will come when I first fly."

  As early as when the factory and school jointly reported the plan, the two parties agreed that the core of the aircraft improvement is the new wing. The pioneering work is the most difficult, and Lu Yingyu feels unprecedented pressure. He quickly summoned design, process, production, inspection and other system staff to work together.

  The first flight was postponed, and everyone tensed their nerves, racing against time to find countermeasures. After more than 20 days of hard work, they finally successfully solved this thorny problem.

  On May 18, 1990, at an airport in Chengdu, test pilot Qian Xuelin drove a J-7E to draw a beautiful arc across the sky.

  After flying for more than 20 minutes, the plane landed safely. "The first flight was successful!" The audience cheered. The head of the Air Force who was present said excitedly: "There is new hope for modernized equipment. This is a major victory that deserves warm congratulations."

The significance of the J-7E is by no means just the success of a model

  The first flight is only the beginning, and the road to finalization is more bumpy.

  Just as the J-7E adjustment test flight came to an end, a flight accident disrupted the rhythm.

  In September 1990, when test pilot Wang Zhendong flew 003 aircraft at high altitude with full afterburner, the wing suddenly vibrated strongly and the left aileron rocker broke, almost causing an accident.

  "The aircraft must not go to the sky with a fault." After the accident, the superiors required a thorough investigation of the aircraft's faults, and the finalized flight test could only be performed after all the faults were eliminated. This was undoubtedly worse for Chengfei, which was already "empty" at the time.

  "Building a model that pilots like to fly, and the pilots are more effective." The team led by Lu Yingyu did not dare to stop for a moment. After confirming the cause of the failure, they quickly carried out intelligent research and comprehensively modified the wing system. The problem is solved.

  In early 1991, three test aircraft were put into finalized flight test. Two years later, the three test aircraft completed all design finalization and flight tests. The improved aircraft maneuverability increased by 20%, endurance increased by 20%, takeoff and landing performance increased by 10%, and the design indicators were fully realized.

  After that, the J-7E fighter was delivered to the army.

  No one thought that after the highly anticipated J-7E was installed into troops, a "longitudinal swing" failure occurred, and all flights were then grounded.

  Some doubts and criticisms came one after another, and some experts even pointed out that "the aircraft control system does not match the aerodynamic characteristics, which is a problem of the overall design."

  Suddenly, the J-7E project fell into a "freezing point."

  At the critical juncture, 57-year-old Lu Yingyu stepped forward and organized the team to conduct technical research again, and quickly determined that "the failure problem lies in the booster."

  “We are all anxious about the grounding. Mr. Lu personally carried the 24kg booster to the troops to do the test.” Chief designer Zhang Liqun recalled that he had only one belief in his heart, which was to solve the problem quickly and let the war eagle soon. Flying into the sky again.

  In the experiment, Lu Yingyu found that the original booster plate valve had low resistance, and once sticking occurred, it would increase the resistance and cause wandering problems. Another booster with greater resistance has good stability and can meet the requirements of flight stability.

  In this way, in more than two months, Lu Yingyu frequently rushed to scientific research units in four provinces and cities, and successfully improved related technical details. After the new booster was replaced, the troops resumed normal flight training.

  Stepping down the bumps into the road, fighting hard and dangerous and set off. Subsequently, Lu Yingyu led the team to travel to air force agencies, troops, and product manufacturers to collect opinions from all quarters. After a series of tests and demonstrations, the J-7E aircraft finally achieved mass production and successfully completed the entire development process.

  In 1993, my country's self-developed and modified J-7E equipped with air force units became the main fighter aircraft of my country's air force in the 1990s.

  Two years later, the J-7E was installed on the Bayi Aerobatic Team. On July 7 of that year, Ding Anqing, the captain of the Bayi Aerobatic Team, successfully flew the J-7E for the first time, opening the prelude to the modification of the new aircraft.

  At the 2nd China Air Show, the Bayi Aerobatic Team piloted the J-7E to perform difficult flying maneuvers such as "Devil Formation", which made the world admire.

  Since then, the J-7E fighters have derived a variety of models, and hundreds of them have been produced and delivered to the army, which has accumulated valuable experience for my country to develop third-generation aircraft.

  In 1997, the J-7E development project won the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award. Seven years later, Lu Yingyu won the "Golden Award for Aviation Reporting to the Country".

  The significance of the J-7E is by no means just a success of a model. The J-7E has accumulated experience for the inter-generational development of subsequent aviation products.

  In the following 30 years, China's aviation industry has grown from weak to strong, from the J-7E to the J-10 to the J-20, and my country's aviation industry has achieved a qualitative leap.

Tian Boyi Shuxia Wenjing