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Photos and analysis of China's J-20 fighter as it nears first flight

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Foxglove

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The Chinese Military Aviation site reports of rumours that the latest canard, V-finned, two-engine single-seat multi-role stealth fighter prototypes, labelled '2001' and '2002' have been built at Chengdu, with the former seen taxiing (on the factory runway?). The source is quite reliable, so it looks like stealth fans around the world are in for another January 29 soon.
 

flanker

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I will believe it, when i see it. :)
 

flateric

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Foxglove said:
The source is quite reliable
Oh, and what makes him reliable, please explain us?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The latest rumor (November 2010) claimed that the first two prototypes (2001 & 2002) have been constructed and the intial low-speed taxiing trial by 2001 has started.
Huitong has been right on other matters - well informed. If he is reporting it as a rumour, he isn't sure its real.
 

Foxglove

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flateric said:
Foxglove said:
The source is quite reliable
Oh, and what makes him reliable, please explain us?
Well, for starters, it was the first source, at least to my knowledge, to use the J-15 and J-20 designations, while everybody else was still using the J-12,13,14. They report facts, but if they aren't absolutely certain about something they let you know. They have rich photographic resources related to Chinese aircraft( and they don't publish photoshopped crap, like other sites), perhaps the richest on the net and provide a comprehensive insight into Chinese military inventory. Finally, I've never discovered any incongruencies, errors or outright lies, on the contrary, the information I first find there can later be found in magazines, other sites, etc. Oh, and they didn't pay me to write this.
 

flateric

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well, I have read specific topic at KPF. Let's wait then
 

JFC Fuller

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There was a recent Jane's article qouting Russian sources who claimed to have seen photographs of it. It was claimed that it looked Russian with blended wings and intakes etc. Apparently the Chinese are fishing for the 117S engine from Russia- believe what you will.

Personally I think it is piloted by sharks and armed with an internally mounted death ray (technology provided by escaped Nazis who the Chinese found on the moon during their yet to be revealed highly secretive moon mission) with wing hard points wired for photon torpedos and Zeus's lightning rods. Oh, it is also a "carrier killer".
 

flateric

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sealordlawrence said:
There was a recent Jane's article qouting Russian sources who claimed to have seen photographs of it. It was claimed that it looked Russian with blended wings and intakes etc. Apparently the Chinese are fishing for the 117S engine from Russia- believe what you will.
regarding quality of information in abovementioned Jane's article:

Both prototypes are powered by the same Saturn/Lyulka 117S engines fitted to the Sukhoi Su-35 while a new engine jointly developed by Saturn and the MMPP Salyut plant is in its design phase.
fail: T-50 is fitted with Izdeliye 117 (AL-41F1)

Russian aircraft programmes - even in Soviet times - have often had year-end deadlines to complete first flights that came down to the wire. Sources close to the programme told Jane's that "the end of the year deadline may not be met, but the aircraft will fly very soon - either before the end of 2010 or just after the new year".
fail: you soon will know, why and when

The programme designation has been changed and is now officially being referred to as the 'PAK-FA/MI' (MI meaning Mnogofunktsionalniy Istrebitel, or Multirole Fighter).
fail: first of all, not 'PAK-FA', but 'PAK FA'. second, there's no such thing as 'PAK-FA/MI' (as well as 'redesignation' mentioned)
'PAK FA' is PAK FA, and there's no 'MI' - there's separate PMI entity, Perspektivny Mnogofunkcionalny Istrebitel = Advanced Multifunctional Fighter
in short, PMI is a Russian designation for FGFA
 

JFC Fuller

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flateric,

Jane's data is increasingly poor, in places just atrocious, however the obvious detail floors in the article do not preclude them from having genuinely discussed the J-20 with people in Russian industry who have seen it, or claim to have seen it.
 

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From that photo it is really clear that it is V tail, canard and two engined :D Yes, its common belief of the appearance of the Chinese 5th gen fighter, however we can be still surprised. As for now, only one thing is certain: that they are developing 5th gen.
 

flanker

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Thanks for posting Deino, but i am still no believer. :)
 

mz

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It'll turn out to be an YF-23 lookalike... ;)
 

flanker

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mz said:
It'll turn out to be an YF-23 lookalike... ;)
I wouldn't mind at all...

You know, everyone has fantasies... ::)
 

JFC Fuller

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It is being claimed that the photo is heavily photoshopped.
 

sferrin

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sealordlawrence said:
It is being claimed that the photo is heavily photoshopped.
From China? No way! ;)
 

Matej

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Its a pity that this kind of images have usually the quality of the first generation cell phones. Why there isn't someone at the right time with the Nikon D1X and 500 mm f1.8 lens... :)
 

bobbymike

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sealordlawrence said:
There was a recent Jane's article qouting Russian sources who claimed to have seen photographs of it. It was claimed that it looked Russian with blended wings and intakes etc. Apparently the Chinese are fishing for the 117S engine from Russia- believe what you will.

Personally I think it is piloted by sharks and armed with an internally mounted death ray (technology provided by escaped Nazis who the Chinese found on the moon during their yet to be revealed highly secretive moon mission) with wing hard points wired for photon torpedos and Zeus's lightning rods. Oh, it is also a "carrier killer".
;D Well Duh every new Chinese weapon is a carrier killer.
 

collins355

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Chortle! I thought this was *Secret* projects forum. Is a shot by a wavering cellphone from behind a tree of a top-secret Chinese fighter at its test site not secret enough for some?
 

flateric

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I can't get a point when one is shooting something secret and uploading it dramatically altering image quiality or destriying the subject of photo - in the last case in any case if photographer will be found, results for him will be unpleasant whatever he posted - original or psed pic

just one that lonely enormous unproportional tail screams 'fake'

so I'm not a believer in this case

Deino, can you make for us historical comparison with say J-10 revealing?
 

Matej

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collins355 said:
Chortle! I thought this was *Secret* projects forum. Is a shot by a wavering cellphone from behind a tree of a top-secret Chinese fighter at its test site not secret enough for some?
Lets see... We have very blurry low-res photo of the unknown origin from the unknown place without any confirmation about its authenticity and with the unidentified object on it. No, its not enough! If I see the light on the sky, I wont start screaming that this is the definitive proof of the allien flying saucer. Instead of it I will say, that this is the start of the investigation. Now I see that picture and I wont start screaming that this is the definitive proof of the top-secret Chinese fighter. Instead of it I say, that this is the start of the investigation. The investigation, that precede any premature conclusions.
 

Deino

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Matej said:
..... Now I see that picture and I wont start screaming that this is the definitive proof of the top-secret Chinese fighter. Instead of it I say, that this is the start of the investigation. The investigation, that precede any premature conclusions.
Agreed but when You know the Chinese spotter-scene a bit You might be able to learn - after quite some time (much than my wife likes !) - who's a reliable "source" and who's a simple "fan-boy". The one here who posted these pictures is the same who posted the first J-10B pictures and who is quite well known within that strange scene for his Varyag-pictures (especially those with that blurred circular shadow around) before.
Another "hint" - I agree with You, surely no "proof" - are the PLAAF-staff flyers which are visiting and the many eye-witnes-reports about it. Here's a summary of posts by "70092" ... also quite well known for his postings:


70092;132843 said:
The leaked Pic is highly likely to be the photo of the real thing.

The pic is leaked by a highly trusted source, the source is the first one who leak J-10b's photo.

And on 22/12 there are more than one eye witness of this fighter, some of them are highly-trusted ones, they also confirmed the side-view of the fighters (shape/color etc).

As for the shape of the aircraft, note the light can do wonders and due to the light there is some distortation about the fighter, the real thing looks "thicker" than it is looked like in this pic.

As for the real fighter, the shape of vectical tails looks like the one installed F-117, the fighter looks very flat from the lower end (like F-22), has DSI-like air-intake, arranged in a similiar way as in-between of F-35 and that latest French fighter Raflae or something (sorry, dont bother to find the spelling of it).

The front view of it looks somehow like a F-22, but the side view make it look a little bit like a F-23, of cause, the most important part, the top view is still remained unknown.

70092;132920 said:
As for the blur-pictures, it is quite understandable: CAC is located somewhere near Chengdu city, and many military fans like to travel around the factory's airport everyday.

The security guards there get used to them, as long as you are Chinese nationals, you can watch the fighters there, but in theory you CANNOT take pictures.

So you cannot go there and bring a huge camre and take pictures there, they will confiscate them and may even arrest you.

According to the eye witness there, on 22/Dec, the securtiy guards are joined with them to watch the fighters, and therefore the security guards are quite near to them.

Thus any early-leaks are most likely taken by phone-camre and taken in a sneaky way to avoid the attentioin of the security guards there, hence the poor image quality.

70092;132922 said:
In all seriousness, this is the real deal, and this is the first pic leaked of J-XX.

Judging by the timing (so many higher-ups, including even the ex-president of China, Jiang Zemin, paid visits to CAC just days ago), by the many eye witness's independant describation of the fighters on that day, by who taken this picture (the exact guy who is the first who taken a very blur J-10B picture), this is the real deal.

70092;132923 said:
According to some guys there, it is the third one, the first taken place on 07/DEC.

So I think there's really a good chance that this is the XXJ prototype and not another - seems as some here and in other forums would wish that ?! - fake.
But let us wait.

Deino
 

flanker

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I am not a believer yet. But i am intrigued. :)
 

flateric

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Yeah. I'm too want Xmas gift now!
 

donnage99

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Bill Sweetman had an article. Some facts he brought up adds more weight to the credibility of the pictures.

What intrigues me is the rapid pace in which the aircraft is introduced. It's pretty much the same time with the PAK FA. This does not add up when one considers the technological gap between Russia and China. The conclusion right now I can think of is that the aircraft is closer to a technology demonstrator like that of Japan ATD-X than a prototype like that of T-50.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a39676d78-1d53-4723-a2f6-1461d18bc6b1&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

I could very well be wrong though.
 

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I was sceptical initially, but by now there is enough smoke here for me to believe there's a genuine fire! I'm looking forward to seeing what this is all about, nice present it would make too ;)

As for China's ability to build something like the PAK-FA, I'd say the airframe is within their capability - the real issue for them will be propulsion, even more so than for the Russians. Exciting times!

My guess is a first flight in mid-January 2011, say the 12th. Any other bets?
 

sferrin

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If so I expect the flame wars between the pro-China and Russia Strong!11 crowds to be epic. ;D
 

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With the censored photos floating around, I'm leaning towards this being the real thing.

If they are really flying in political "guests" for a viewing of the plane, we might see a first flight before the end of the year.
 

donnage99

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This aircraft would be particularly interesting also for the fact that it's the first time for a canard + stealth combo on a flying airframe.
 

Trident

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Possibly the first genuine photo with enough detail to deduce more than "it's an aircraft and has twin tail fins"?

Round nozzles, closely spaced engines, all-moving vertical tails (higher aspect ratio than PAK FA), F-22-style frame-less canopy, canards.

Could this be it?
 

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Deino

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@ QuadroFX

I agree with You - especially if You don't like it to be real ::) -to be sceptical but just wait a bit longer ... in comparison to the first pictures of the J-10B, it was b nearly the same: a first blurred, pixeled one was posted, all were crying "look yet another PSed FAKE !" - then a few days discussions forth and back ... several smaller "parts" were leaked ... and finally about two weeks (not sure) later we saw that bird standing on the CAC tarmac.

So ... just simply wait

Here are a few more "leaks" + a nice painting (actually by the artist, who "painted" the PLAAF-J-7 review ...)
Deino
 

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