A special group of aviators will participate in the military parade at the upcoming 60th National Day celebration. They are China's first group of female fighter pilots.
The 16 women haven't been home for almost two years. But to ensure a good performance at the parade, they have given up their vacation time to take part in the training.
Every flight day, they start practice at 4 in the morning, and finish at around 3 in the afternoon. Their schedule almost matches that of their male counterparts.
Team leader said, "With regards to our capabilities, female fighter pilots' reaction speed and ability to process military information are about the same as male fighter pilots. The biggest difference is the discrepancy in body structure. Women do not have as much muscle tissue as men. But this can be solved by training."
Altogether 35 women were selected from 350-thousand high school graduates from 12 provinces in September 2005. Born in the 1980's, they are all between the ages of 22 and 24.
After 38 months of highly-intense training, 16 of them graduated in April this year. They have gone through strict courses and exercises including basic flying, parachute jumping, and field survival. Graduates received Military Science degrees and First Lieutenant rankings. The achievements of these remarkable women make China the world's eighth country with female fighter pilots.