Early life and career
Lu was born on 19 August 1920 in Shanghai, Republic of China, with his ancestral home in Changzhou, Jiangsu. He studied at the Jiangsu Provincial High School from 1935 to 1937, and then entered the National Central University to study aeronautical engineering. After the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, the university was exiled in Chongqing, China's wartime capital, and he graduated in 1941.
In 1942, he received further training at the Republic of China Air Force's mechanics school in Chengdu. A year later, he was assigned to work for the No. 2 Aircraft Manufacturing Factory in Nanchuan, Chongqing, as an aircraft designer. In December 1944, he was sent to the United States to work at the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, where he participated in the design of shipborne jet fighters. He was then sent to Britain to work as a designer at the Gloster Aircraft Company.