Among the highlights of the flying display at the Dubai Airshow this year is a first chance for western audiences to see the People's Liberation Army Air Force's August 1st aerobatic team. Named after the date of the founding of the PLAAF, the team is equipped with Chengdu J-10 fighters, and their appearance at the Airshow marks their first display outside China since 2015, when they flew at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace event in Malaysia. 

Footage on social media from Nov. 6 shows several J-10s taking off, presumably from the team's home station of Yangcung Air Force Base, near Tianjin, though Chinese media reports of the departure were datelined Urumqi, suggesting a route to Dubai through Pakistan.

The same footage also shows two PLAAF Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft taking off at around the same time. The type has been modified to carry out a tanker role, and supported the seven J-10s en route to Dubai. Both the tankers are set to "participate in" the Airshow, according to a brief news item carried on the Chinese military's official English-language website.

In 2014, the PLAAF announced that four members of the August 1st team were women. The first display conducted with female pilots on board was given during the Zuhai airshow that year, though, at least initially, the women were flown in the rear seat of the J-10. The force began allowing women to pilot fast jets in 2005. The first female August 1st member was killed in 2016 following a collision between two J-10s during a training sortie over Hebei province, to the north of the country. Captain Yu Xu was in the rear seat of the aircraft when it clipped wings with another J-10; she ejected successfully but was hit by the wing of the other aircraft.

The August 1st team is scheduled to appear in Pakistan following their Dubai displays on November 20th.