Chengdu J-20 news and analysis Part III

kaiserd

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That’s an interesting photo.
Like the F-22 before it the J-20 can still surprise (well me anyway) how unusual and unconventional it looks, particularly from certain unfamiliar angles.
 

totoro

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Wonder why the doors have such dark outlines?
a good guess would flexible material that forms a good seal making the surface continuous and even when doors are closed, and having similar electric conductivity properties to the surfaces around it. Basically for stealth reasons.
 

Cannonfodder43

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Perhaps not J-20 related specifically but given what the discussion in this Twitter thread revolved around, I thought this would be good to share.

First main post and thread with the shared interview.

View: https://twitter.com/RickJoe_PLA/status/1436202535560224772

Second linked thread to the relevant discussion regarding the J-20, Canards and the nebulous nature of the LO/VLO debate.

View: https://twitter.com/RickJoe_PLA/status/1436202542434717707

All in all, a respectful debate nonetheless. Certainly much more nuanced than that debate I had on r/Hoggit regarding the similar interview regarding Russian Air Power and the Su-57. The person I went back and forth with was one those people who took the whole "Su-57 is less stealthy that a Super Hornet" pill.
 

Cannonfodder43

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that debate I had on r/Hoggit
Found the problem. Literally you were on reddit.
Considering that a good many people were critical of Justin's points in the video that was shared on that subreddit, it's not all hopeless.

Besides, there is lots of interesting stuff one can learn and discover. It's all about knowing where to look.
 

Conspirator

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the chengdu has always been up there with some of my favs like the F-22 Raptor the F/A-18 Super Hornet. the Chengdu J-20 has an incredible design... very sound for it being made in china. and the airframe is absolutely genius. holding thrust while still preventing bend or break at high G manuvuers
 

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the chengdu has always been up there with some of my favs like the F-22 Raptor the F/A-18 Super Hornet. the Chengdu J-20 has an incredible design... very sound for it being made in china. and the airframe is absolutely genius. holding thrust while still preventing bend or break at high G manuvuers
It's believed to use a lot of 3D printed titanium for weight reduction. In practice, I suspect once the electronics are added, the empty weight is considerable (albeit likely lighter than the F-22).

Of course, a different argument can be made regarding the J-20's design. The ventrals fanboys were hoping could have been left off, I personally think the tailfins should go as soon as TVC is reliable, and the canards are not properly aligned with the opposite wing as some projections of the Rafale suggest.

It is a very strong and innovative improvement in Chinese aircraft design. More importantly, for me, it can be upgraded to a much better stealth fighter, with the proper increases in engine power and the maturity of TVC.

#J-20C / #J-26
 

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#J-20C / #J-26

care to explain what a J-26 is in your opinion?
J-16 is to J-11 as J-26 would be to J-20.

We've had the same argument elsewhere, I don't like the CURRENT J-20 very much, and I think it's a flawed aircraft in the present mode, but if TVC WS-15s came online, the airframe could be substantially modified to become a better stealth aircraft, and I think that's part of the J-20 design, that the removal of elements and adjustment of elements could significantly improve stealth as well as payload.
 

Deino

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#J-20C / #J-26

care to explain what a J-26 is in your opinion?
J-16 is to J-11 as J-26 would be to J-20.

We've had the same argument elsewhere, I don't like the CURRENT J-20 very much, and I think it's a flawed aircraft in the present mode, but if TVC WS-15s came online, the airframe could be substantially modified to become a better stealth aircraft, and I think that's part of the J-20 design, that the removal of elements and adjustment of elements could significantly improve stealth as well as payload.


But IMO this comparison is off by a wide margin: First, the J-16 is not a better J-11, but a dedicated multirole fighter similar to the Su-30 evolved from the Su-27. As such better depends vastly for what role it was developed.

And second -even if I know we both won't agree - I think the J-20 is in no way a "flawed design". It surely is a compromise given China's lack of experience in stealth and other fields of importance for a 5th generation type, but it is not a failure as you always try to portray.
Even more I cannot understand your constant obsession of such ideas like the canards or tails could be deleted! That's ridiculous to think CAC will remodel the J-20 so much.

IMO more likely the J-20 will be more some sort of interim type until the 6th generation type will be ready later in the 2030s and this one maybe won't have tails and canards, but for the J-20 this won't happen.
 

Inst

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#J-20C / #J-26

care to explain what a J-26 is in your opinion?
J-16 is to J-11 as J-26 would be to J-20.

We've had the same argument elsewhere, I don't like the CURRENT J-20 very much, and I think it's a flawed aircraft in the present mode, but if TVC WS-15s came online, the airframe could be substantially modified to become a better stealth aircraft, and I think that's part of the J-20 design, that the removal of elements and adjustment of elements could significantly improve stealth as well as payload.


But IMO this comparison is off by a wide margin: First, the J-16 is not a better J-11, but a dedicated multirole fighter similar to the Su-30 evolved from the Su-27. As such better depends vastly for what role it was developed.

And second -even if I know we both won't agree - I think the J-20 is in no way a "flawed design". It surely is a compromise given China's lack of experience in stealth and other fields of importance for a 5th generation type, but it is not a failure as you always try to portray.
Even more I cannot understand your constant obsession of such ideas like the canards or tails could be deleted! That's ridiculous to think CAC will remodel the J-20 so much.

IMO more likely the J-20 will be more some sort of interim type until the 6th generation type will be ready later in the 2030s and this one maybe won't have tails and canards, but for the J-20 this won't happen.
The J-16 is to the J-11 as a Su-30 is to a Su-27; i.e, the Su-30 is substantially different than the Su-27 insofar as that it's the strike variant of the Flanker line. As such, it sacrifices maximum speed for better load carrying ability, as well as sacrificing wing loading and thrust to weight due to the weight increase.

A J-26, likewise, would also be a strike variant of the J-20 line; it sacrifices maneuverability (i.e, you can delete tailfins, ventrals) for payload, probably with a larger wing. As a side effect, frontal stealth, minimal RCS, and drag improve.

Regarding the J-20, I've never been a proponent of removing canards, because we've both seen the Song Wencong papers and we both know that the J-20 is designed to exploit the interaction of LERX, Canards, and Delta wings. Of course, before Chinese fanboys keep on playing it up as original or secret sauce; the Rafale does this as well, although its LERXes are substantially smaller than on the J-20 (i.e, the J-20 pushes the same idea farther).

My criticism of the canards is the alignment; all pictures of the J-20's alignment show that the canards seem more optimized for aerodynamics than stealth. It's been proposed myriad times that the canards are designed to be coplanar with the opposite wing, but if you measure the J-20's canards, there's a notable divergence in angle between the canard and the opposite wing.

Another aspect is that you see me getting trashed for playing up the Checkmate's RCS (Paralay seems to indicate that the Russians expect the Checkmate to have a better average stealth level than the F-22 and F-35) based on its delta + V-tail configuration. Ironically, the J-20's canard configuration is potentially identical to the Checkmate's delta + V-tail configuration, except that the V-tail pitch-yaw control is handled by a canard as opposed to a traditional V-tail.
 

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