Chengdu Jianjiji-9 / J-9 Fighter & Interceptor

Deino

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Due to several aerial combat in the years 1962-63 the PLAAF recognized that the ranges and performance at greater height of their J-6 and J-7 type fighters were particularly insufficient. Therefore the development of a new fighter generation was suggested, in order to meet the new threats in October 1964. Concept studies began in 1964, drawing heavily on reviews of simulated dogfights using the J-7, which revealed that the latter had a very low combat radius and a poor interception speed. It also suffered from the lack of suitable fire control radar and dated aerodynamics. Beginning in 1964, the 601 Bureau in Shenyang began working on improving the performance of the J-7. It considered two possible development ways, which should be pursued further in parallel:

1. The use of the J-7 as basis for an advanced twin-engined jet fighter. For that the general layout of the standard J-7 was to be retained without larger changes. It was planned to be powered by two improved versions of the WP-7 turbojet with thrust of 43 - 44 kN (4.433 kp) each. … this led later to the Shenyang J-8

2. The development of a new single-engined fighter using a new turbofan engine (which was to be designed by the 606 Bureau) in the thrust class of 83,4/121.7 kN (8.500/12.400 kp) with a different air intake configuration to accommodate a suitable radar.

The biggest problem on the second approach was Chinas lack of experience with modern turbofan engines. For this reason the many of engineers involved feared that the engine development could not hold with the development of the fighter design it should power, which later proved true.

The initial goal of this double fold development was a moderately severe air superiority fighter of the 10 t weight class with an operating altitude of 22.000 m, a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 with a range of 1.600 km, in order to keep up with the performance of the American F-4 "Phantom II", which was later expanded to "2 x 25" – to achieve Mach 2.5 at 25.000 m – further.

For that Institute 601 submitted four drafts in the course of the year 1965, each of them with a different aerodynamic layout, such as wing configurations, leading-edge angles and the arrangement of the air intakes (ventral or lateral):

• 50° delta wing (sweep wing)
• 55° delta wing (sweep wing) with tailplane
• 50° double delta wing
• 57° delta-wing

However during the fourth quarter '66 to the beginning of '67 further wind-tunnel tests led to the conclusion that the agility of the new fighter was not optimal as the current configuration was unstable at certain airspeeds. As result the concept preferred so far became "draft A" (= J-9A) with the different configurations I - IV and was replaced by a concept re-designated "draft B" (= J-9B) configuration V. Thus it was decided that the design should be switched to the full delta configuration J-9B-V. But this again resulted in problems with lift at certain airspeeds and complicated the place of lift control devices.

The version J-9B-V pointed itself to it as a tailless delta – similar to the Mirage III – with a leading-edge angle of 60° and a wing surface of 62 m2, whereas the version J-9A-IV was very similar in appearance to the later improved J-8B (J-8II) with a leading-edge angle of 55°.
 

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Deino

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Unfortunately the Cultural Revolution was then in full course, so that the development and construction of the J-9-Projekt was completely stopped only until March 1968. After a further conference it was decided to take up the plan J-9B-V again and to continue the development from 1969 on, with the goal to achieve the first flight to 20th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1969. Standing behind that decision were conclusions drawn by the Vietnam War, the events in the Middle East and new updated demands on the part of the Air Force.

In order to make it possible for Shenyang to concentrate parallel on the further development and manufacturing of the J-8 it was decided to shift the manufacturing from plant 112 to the plant 132 to the "Chengdu Aviation Company". Unfortunately the requirements were once again changed on the part of the Ministry of Defence now to: "good agility" / combat radius 900-1000 km / max. weight 13t / load factor of +9 g / service ceiling of 25,000 m and max speed Mach 2,5 (the “double-25-requirement”) and later to the “double-26-requirement”: Mach 2.6 at 26,000 m.

This needed a return to the draft J-9B-V again and development further to the draft J-9B2 or now called J-9B-VI. Finally it was decided to continue the development of the "new" J-9 as a delta-canard with one ventral or two lateral air intakes. Maybe this study with the single ventral air intake formed the basis of the now current Chengdu J-10A.

Unfortunately also this design – as so often since the beginning of the development – came to an end as the requirements were much too ambitious and the continuing problems with the planned WS-9 turbofan couldn’t be resolved. On the 18th February 1975 the “Central Military Committee” formulated the resolution for final development. Planned up to then was a test series of 5 machines with a first flight around the turn of the year 1980/81 and beginning of the mass production in 1983. On it at the beginning 1976 the final layout of the J-9 in the version J-9B-VI was specified briefly: delta-canard-layout with a 60° leading edge sweep, 50m2 wing area, canard wings with 55° leading edge sweep and each 2,85m2 area, as well as two lateral air intakes. The inlets should be equipped with variable inlets providing a Type-910 turbofan engine with a thrust of 12,400 kp with afterburner. One Type-205 multi-mode radar with a maximum search range of 60-70 km and a pursuit range of 45-52 km for the new PL-4 medium-range missile was intended.

In 1978 then the priority of the J-9 was downscaled once again. Some sources assume that still unresolved technical problems existed, others suggested that the parallel development of the improved J-7III (= J-7C/D) promised a better chance of success and an earlier in service date as the Shenyang J-8B too. The result was in any case that the development of the Chengdu J-9 finally ended at the end of 1980.
 

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Deino

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Some additional pictures / info from Chinese articles !
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Excellent work, Deino, but I don't think you should post whole articles, even if they are in Chinese. I'd put the pictures in perhaps, and note down the name of the article/magazine if known.
 

Deino

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Thanks a lot !! ;D

By the way these are the best "pictures" so far ... quite interesting; the only ones with the two versions of the proposed PL-4 !
 

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Deino

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Personal Note:
It’s quite interesting that there are continuing reports – even in some very well informed Western Magazines – that the Chengdu J-9 finally flew: According to World Airpower Journal the J-9 prototype made its first flight in March 1993 (!). Here’s a picture of that “secret J-9” … a photoshoped fake of a JH-7 (from a different web-page) and a 3-side drawing from WAPJ:

The other drawing is an ealy artist impression of how this big delta-winged fighter could look like !

Some try to explain this rumour by telling that this “first flight” was a still secret improved J-8III fitted with two all-movable canards and a fly-by-wire system originally developed by Shenyang aircraft Co. for the J-9. The prototype was lost to an accident, and the whole programme was eventually later abandoned in favour of the Su-27 / J-11.

… but these are all rumours !! :D
 

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Thorvic

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That CTAIC J-9 from WAPJ is just a Mig-23 Fuselage with a fixed mid mounted delta wings, canards and slightly revised intakes. How legit is this drawing or is it just an artists best guess ?

G
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its a "best guess" based on the knowledge that the Chinese acquired some MiG-23s to study in order to help with J-9 design.
 

TinWing

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There were persistant rumors of a Spey engined MiG-23 "copy" from the late 1970s onward. In retrospect, the rumors never made very much sense.
 

Deino

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TinWing said:
There were persistant rumors of a Spey engined MiG-23 "copy" from the late 1970s onward. In retrospect, the rumors never made very much sense.

No and Yes ... the could maybe also be related to the Q-6 project; a single engined fighter-bomber based on the MiG-23 (Will be posted later !)

Cheers, Deino ;)
 

hesham

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Hi,


the Chines J-9;


http://news.qq.com/a/20080807/001192.htm
http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/china/24564-russia-helping-china-fighter-jet-technology.html
 

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