China's J-20 fighter, sporting a new stealth coating, is seen during an aerobatic performance at the 2018 Zhuhai Airshow. Photo: People's Daily

A squadron of People’s Liberation Army fighter jets – with at least three J-2o stealth fighters and a number of J-10B training jets powered by thrust-vectoring engines – awed spectators in an aerobatic show featuring dazzling maneuvers and mock dogfights.

Tuesday’s performance was a centerpiece of a biennial airshow being held in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai.

The J-20, incorporating the best of Chinese technologies in warplane development and aerial combat as the nation’s first fifth-generation fighter, made its debut two years ago in Zhuhai during the previous airshow.

This time these J-20s sported a new camouflage look reportedly with improved stealth capability, according to the Global Times.

The PLA also showed off an indigenous thrust-vectoring engine, the WS-10 Taihang, as a J-10B training fighter equipped with the engine soared to the skies from Zhuhai’s airport and made a “Pugachev’s Cobra,” a maneuver in which a plane flying at a moderate speed suddenly raises the nose momentarily to slightly beyond the vertical position before dropping to a normal horizontal flight.

It uses engine thrust to maintain a near-constant altitude throughout the entire move.

The J-10B is reportedly the world’s first single-engine canard wing fighter jet to have performed the Pugachev’s Cobra maneuver.

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