AIDC celebrated the 30th anniversary of AT-3 jet trainer at their Taichung Complex on Nov. 5th. AIDC Chairman Y.K. Shung, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Sheng-chung Lin, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff Fan Tzu-yao, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, and State-owned Enterprise Commission Executive Director Ming-Joung Liou were all present at the celebration ceremony.
The ceremony started with a film produced by former Director General of AIDC Gen. H.M. Hua looking back at the difficulties and challenges faced and overcome during the development of AT-3 trainer three decades ago.
In 1975 the Aero Industry Development Center, the company’s predecessor, was asked to develop a new trainer to replace aging T-33 trainers. Sixty-three AT-3’s, including two prototypes, were built. The first rolled out on July 17, 1980 and made its maiden flight on Sept. 16, 1980. The AT-3 was designated “Tzu Chiang”, which means self-reliance in Chinese, to echo the government call for Taiwan to be self-reliant.
Chairman Shung mentioned in his address the AT-3 advanced jet trainer is the first self-developed jet aircraft and it carried great significance in the history of Taiwan’s aviation industry, and is the transition from propeller-driven aircraft to the jet airplane. This experience later served as a value base for the successful development of the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF).
Deputy Minister Lin encouraged AIDC to continue pursuit of excellence while keeping both military and commercial businesses in parallel development and R&D and coproduction on dual tracks. “The aerospace industry is a technology-intensive national strategic industry and with its correlation effect can lead the development of other basic industries and the national economy,” Lin said