Jet's warrior days to end with auction

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 12:00am

Collectors fascinated by warplanes may be interested in a Jian-5 fighter jet up for auction in Wuxi.

With a minimum bid of a mere 300,000 yuan (HK$282,000) the aircraft - minus weapons and engine - is available in the Jiangsu city for private collectors or commercial use.

'The veteran warplane, which has been discharged from the air force, can be used in corporate image promotions, in a theme restaurant, as theme park decoration or in a private collection,' said Ye Xinming, general manager of Tomorrow Business and Trade Consultants, a Wuxi-based company.

The plane, modelled after the Russian-made Mig-17 fighter, is 3.4 metres high and 11.1 metres long, a company advertisement says. A date for the auction has not yet been fixed.

Mr Ye declined to say if his firm was linked to the PLA but said the company bought the plane from the military and documents proved the jet had been used by the air force.

The Jian-5 was China's first locally made fighter plane based on a Russian design. It underwent test flights in 1956.