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

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Dragon029

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That's not that much bigger then (in comparison to the Raptor and PAK FA)
As for these pictures on a whole, are we at a stage where we could say we're confident this is 'real', whether it be a tech demonstrator or something more final?
 

DFC

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The Chinese have had huge problems with engines, as most of us know.

There have been instances of the WS-10A taihang developed by the 606 SARI requiring overhauls after just a month worth of flights.

However they do have rival design groups engaged in engine development at the moment

Of late the Chengdu engine group has been collaborating heavily with the Ukrainians on the AI-222-25F to power the Hongdu L-15.

The Chinese GTE with which the Chengdu engine group works closely ( a part of the sum more like) would use the Ukrainians for the WS-15. Although I don't think the WS-15 would be powering the J-XX anytime soon. Nor would the 18 ton thrust class engine which GTE wants to develop.

Rule out the Taishan (WS-13) as well as it is for smaller aircraft.

I think any J-XX at least initially will use an Al-31 derivative possibly the AL-31F-M1 which adds about a ton of thrust.

Given that a number of russian analysts ( especially from the CAST) and industry people have been talking about the revival of sales to China I think this is likely.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Dragon029 said:
That's not that much bigger then (in comparison to the Raptor and PAK FA)
Tiny intakes from that last photo and diverter-less.

Dragon029 said:
As for these pictures on a whole, are we at a stage where we could say we're confident this is 'real', whether it be a tech demonstrator or something more final?
Scientifically you can conclude from the large number of photos that there is a physical object rather than just a Photoshop of other images. However one can’t rationally conclude that this object is actually an advanced aircraft program rather than just a mock-up or dummy thanks to the image distortions. This could be a movie prop from an airfield no where near China.
 

kcran567

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seruriermarshal said:
Seems like huge , it must be a bomber .

If this is real I think the Chinese are making a 21at century version of the F-111 fighter/bomber in the J-20.

And the J-xx, xxx? will be two OTHER stealth aircraft: one f-22 air dominance class and another f-35 (or smaller) class. Maybe they see the f-35 as failed concept and see the need for realistically having 3 aircraft to specialize rather than the f-35 "do it all" approach.
 

Abraham Gubler

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kcran567 said:
And the J-xx, xxx? will be two OTHER stealth aircraft: one f-22 air dominance class and another f-35 (or smaller) class. Maybe they see the f-35 as failed concept and see the need for realistically having 3 aircraft to specialize rather than the f-35 "do it all" approach.
Well that is a very lengthy bow to pull from such evidence. Looking at the PLAAF as a whole one can see ongoing projects for a multi role, lighter fighter (J-10) and a air superiority, heavier fighter (FLANKER clones). What is missing is a replacement for their large and highly obsolescent fleet of strike aircraft (H-6 BADGER). The strike role might be supported by the size, intakes and apparant lack of suitable high power engines. If this “August 1 Star” aircraft is a strike platform then it fits the needs of the PLAAF rather than some anti-F-35 agenda mongering.
 

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LowObservable said:
I wouldn't be quite so dismissive. A decade ago, China was just flying the J-10. Before that, the only fighters of indigenous design were the J-8, which looked like a late-1950s MiG, and the JH-7 Jaguar-on-steroids. That's pretty rapid progress.

Supposed Clinton era B-2 and missile tech and Obama F-35 (technology for cash) transfers to China. And even some during the Bush Admin.

Its seems like someone is trying to start a new cold war with the Chinese. How the hell did they make so much damn progress so damn fast? they got outside help thats how!!
 

flateric

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well, some reports arriving about WeiLong performed maiden flight today
Wei (威 to 威武 = martial or powerful) Long (龙 = Dragon)
 

Deino

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Abraham Gubler said:
...That is the "August 1" PLAAF national aerobatics team. I doubt the PLAAF would roll out a prototype in the markings of the aerobatics team.
Sorry to correct You, but that's not the "Ba Yi"'s sign ... the words Ba Yi are meaning 1. August remembering simply the day, when the PLAAF was founded ... nothing more.

Deino
 

Deino

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flateric said:
well, some reports arriving about WeiLong performed maiden flight today
Wei (威 to 威武 = martial or powerful) Long (龙 = Dragon)
via =GT from CDF:
Not yet. High speed taxi only, nose wheel lift off but no flight.
Deino
 

flateric

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GJ33

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kcran567 said:
LowObservable said:
I wouldn't be quite so dismissive. A decade ago, China was just flying the J-10. Before that, the only fighters of indigenous design were the J-8, which looked like a late-1950s MiG, and the JH-7 Jaguar-on-steroids. That's pretty rapid progress.

Supposed Clinton era B-2 and missile tech and Obama F-35 (technology for cash) transfers to China. And even some during the Bush Admin.

Its seems like someone is trying to start a new cold war with the Chinese. How the hell did they make so much damn progress so damn fast? they got outside help thats how!!
Outside help..Sort of... Break in Boeings and Lockheed Martins and Northrop Grumman network and use some Chinese trainees and students and you can make a jump start..
But to build an airframe is something different than making it work...
Their PR machine is good. It is just as BMW and other brands are doing. A sneak preview. Another small picture. A test on the Nurnburgring etc. Warming up the public.
We are strong....is the message but the finishing touch is a precise one..
It is definitely getting more interesting this way
 

Abraham Gubler

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Deino said:
Sorry to correct You, but that's not the "Ba Yi"'s sign ... the words Ba Yi are meaning 1. August remembering simply the day, when the PLAAF was founded ... nothing more.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say? My post was in response to this post:

Trident said:
EDIT: Then again, should we really be surprised that a first prototype (a very significant one no less) would wear non-standard markings? I suppose your first 5th generation fighter would qualify as justification for applying special insignia. Having looked around at a.net, there is something of a precedent with the PLAAF:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/China---Air/Chengdu-J-7GB/1711718/L/

What say you?
This picture is of a PLAAF aerobatic aircraft. The argument being that if they wear the star with 8-1 characters and without the red bars then why not the “War Dragon”? Obviously the new aircraft is not painted in the same scheme as the Bayi (8-1) aerobatic team nor does it have their squadron logo. But the bar-less 8-1 star has only been seen on their tails.
 

Deino

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Abraham Gubler said:
I'm not sure what you are trying to say? My post was in response to this post:
Then SORRY ... I didn't read the post You were quoting and only thought - as posted by some at the Key-forum - this aircraft has to be a Fake simply because this is not the standard PLAAF star & bar symbol or the Ba Yi style paint.

Sorry
 

Abraham Gubler

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Deino said:
Then SORRY ... I didn't read the post You were quoting and only thought - as posted by some at the Key-forum - this aircraft has to be a Fake simply because this is not the standard PLAAF star & bar symbol or the Ba Yi style paint.
Things move quick when a new prototype is unveiled. I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is a real plane with the reports now coming out of China. Yet there is still a long, long way to march before this can be considered a 5th generation aircraft to rival the F-35 or F-22.
 

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I am baffled by the configuration chosen ???
Certain things make you think it's an air superiority fighter, like the fact that there is (presently) no room for the guy in the back, and it has canards as if it's supposed to maneuver a whole lot - unless it's there to reduce supersonic trim drag, conventional wisdom says it's bad for LO. Or as Lockhhed Martin puts it: "the best place for a canard is on the competitor's aircraft!".
Then there's the fact that it's unusually large for that job and the engines may not be powerful enough (although that could change); that makes you think of an interdictor role a la FB-22. I'm saying this because there is interest from time to time in that sort of platform. There was an AFRL RFI on the subject just a little while ago.
Either way, they didn't go for all out LO, otherwise the nozzles would look much different, although even that is subject to change.
As I said, I am baffled :)
 

Abraham Gubler

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AeroFranz said:
Certain things make you think it's an air superiority fighter, like the fact that there is (presently) no room for the guy in the back,
I wouldn’t discount a single seat strike aircraft. With advanced navigation systems and target tracking the need for a passenger is less than is apparent for strike. Western aircraft will proliferate the second seat but this has more to do with the complex target set, demands of close air support and restrictive ROEs. But the PLAAF doesn’t have this problem as its strike aircraft will carry out more traditional battlefield air interdiction, airfield attack, maritime interdiction, etc. In the 1990s Boeing made a convincing case for a single seat BAI strike aircraft to replace the F-111/F-15E with their Model 988-122.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2121.60.html

Events and subsequent lessons learnt- that don’t apply to Chinese warfare – mean the F-35 will be the last single seat combat aircraft in western air forces.
 

Deino

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PlanesPictures said:
so much universal experts and so single manipulation
Funny ... but what do You wanna show ?

Even if a nicely done psed-job, everyone with a little sense of understanding for the Chinese scene identifies this easily as a FAKE.

So what's Your point ? ???

Deino
 

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Orionblamblam said:
Foxglove said:
you will discover that there has been a precedent exception to the two-syllable name rule: the Yak-28P was called none other than Firebar

Errrr... "Firebar" *is* a two-syllable name.
That arrrrl de-yeh-pends on whetheah y'all warrrs born south of the Maayson-Di-e-xon Lyine.
 

Michel Van

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this is a littelbit off topic about J-20, more about the reaction in Post

i notice some odd reaction
first the "Wat China has the Technolgy ?!"
most folks think about China like this :

sorry folks This Today china


Second group is the

OMG fraction with "China got J-20, we need more F-22 or better the six Generation Fighter"
for now the J-20 has to make it maidenflight, F-22 made his first flight 20 years ago !
there no guarantee that J-20 perform better as F-22, or worse...
The US don't need more F-22, but the F-35 Navy Fighter fast!
because the Pacific US carrierfleet will the first who gonna have contact with J-20...
 

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Child of F-22 & MiG 1.44:




Looking less and less like a film prop, Carlo Kopp's worst nightmare came true. All credit to the Chinese.
 

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I think that now its safe to conclude that there really is something like aircraft on the runway. When I see at least a few clear in-flight photos, I will name it "the black-painted demonstrator aircraft with weird insignia". And its not as big as it looks. Its just not as tall as the previous aircrafts, because the modern aircrafts doesn't need that big vertical tail (see T-50 or YF-23). So its about the proportions rather the overall size.

But its still loooong way to any serious statement about the highly capable 5th generation Chinese fighter and/or tactical bomber.
 

LowObservable

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Michel Van said:
this is a littelbit off topic about J-20, more about the reaction in Post

i notice some odd reaction
first the "Wat China has the Technolgy ?!"
most folks think about China like this :
DON'T TOUCH MY JUNK!

Seriously, we're just getting to the question of what this adds to our picture of China's international/military strategy and technology. I think the consensus is growing that it is real (if it's not, it's the mother of all disinformation campaigns). But it will be nice to have a plan view before we say too much about the jet itself, and then try to assess where it is in development.

Abe - the F-35 is formally five years behind a 10-year schedule and is already missing targets set in March. If that's your idea of "minor" remind me not to hire you to remodel my kitchen.
 

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Otaku said:
Child of F-22 & MiG 1.44:




Looking less and less like a film prop, Carlo Kopp's worst nightmare came true. All credit to the Chinese.
Add to this the Su-47(centroplane), F-117(fins) and F-35(intakes).
 

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Fascinating what a meritocracy, a liberal supply of cash and healthy dose of industrial espionage can achieve. Go China.
 

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fifth gen Maybach Landoulet (talking of size right now)
 

harrier

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Fascinating what a meritocracy, a liberal supply of cash and healthy dose of industrial espionage can achieve. Go China.
I think it may be a little unkind to say espionage has a big part to play in this particular aircraft. The chined stealth look has been public for twenty years, so why re-invent the wheel? Otherwise, the configuration seems pretty novel - while US companies may have drawn similar stealthy aircraft, with close-coupled canards and either a delta, lambda or other wing, the Chinese are the first to try and fly it (I exclude the MiG 1.44 and X-36, both low speed flights only), with all the associated work of programming the FCS etc. Let's see if they avoid issues that Gripen and Typhoon ran into (maybe J-10 experience will help).

When it comes to materials etc. then maybe some USB based shenanigans may become more evident. But that may be in the future - this is likely the aerodynamic/FCS testbed (absence of a long, test, pitot probe is interesting - YF-22 had one, YF-23 didn't) , so this aircraft may well be lacking in coatings etc. But the paint scheme is v. cool, and Deino's pic of the wing above DOES show a star with bar insignia, so it isn't a cut and pasted Berkut!.

Anyway, let's see the thing fly before the speculation really gets going, although I am fascinated by the undercarriage design, with those big drooping doors and seemingly TSR.2 like long legs. Wonder if the taxi runs have shown any problems there - a stealth fighter doesn't want to get dents/scratches on the u/c doors, but this design seems likely to, unless flown from pristine runways.
 

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harrier said:
I think it may be a little unkind to say espionage has a big part to play in this particular aircraft. The chined stealth look has been public for twenty years, so why re-invent the wheel? Otherwise, the configuration seems pretty novel - while US companies may have drawn similar aircraft, with close-coupled canards and either a delta, lambda or other wing, the Chinese are the first to try and fly it, with all the associated work of programming the FCS etc. Let's see if they avoid issues that Gripen and Typhoon ran into (maybe J-10 experience will help).
I never suggested that the Chinese simply stole this design from someone's hard-drive.

When it comes to materials etc. then maybe some USB based shenanigans may become more evident. But that may be in the future - this is likely the aerodynamic/FCS testbed (absence of a long, test, pitot probe is interesting - YF-22 had one, YF-23 didn't) , so this aircraft may well be lacking in coatings etc. But the paint scheme is v. cool
My point exactly, Chinese labs have almost certainly had an infusion of external technology that would have supported some of the development that went on here, either directly or indirectly, and I dont regard it as an unkind suggestion. In fact I admire the ruthlessness with which China has gone about acquiring military technology, it appears to have been more productive than the Indian model.
 

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sealordlawrence said:
Fascinating what a meritocracy, a liberal supply of cash and healthy dose of industrial espionage can achieve. Go China.
The Chinese have been burdened with the nightmare of Communism since the late 1940's, and with a stifling, stagmant imperial system before that. But in the last 20 years they've introduced a *lot* of economic freedoms... still well under the thumb of the government, but they are discovering the wonders of capitalism. The Chinese are finding that a free enterprise system is the way to go if you want to make advancements. So, even they they are "less free" than the West... they are trending upwards, while the West is trending downwards in that respect. So it's hardly surprising that their technology base is booming while we're in decline.

If the West had any smarts, we'd take a lesson from the Chinese. And that lesson comes in two parts:
1) Increase economic freedom
2) Decrease the governmental burden

And to make *real* progress, there'd be a third component:

3) Put the bureaucrats against the wall.
 

harrier

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Deino wins teh internetz for this morning.
Well, Deino would win it for the whole day if he posted the rest of the 'wing' picture, if it exists - it seems the clearest yet!
 

harrier

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And to make *real* progress, there'd be a third component:

3) Put the bureaucrats against the wall.
Erm., I think the Chinese lesson is to put the bureaucrats in charge!

As regards economic freedom, a Chinese friend explained it to me. 'In China, if you don't work you die'. He thought the UK welfare system was the height of civilisation. The grass is always greener!
 

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harrier said:
As regards economic freedom, a Chinese friend explained it to me. 'In China, if you don't work you die'. He thought the UK welfare system was the height of civilisation. The grass is always greener!
Lol. I hope you explained that such a welfare system is a surefire route to stagnation and bankruptcy?
 

harrier

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No, IIRC that conversation then moved on to the J-10 and Harriers - he was a proponent of the latter, while I was saying the J-10 was better than he thought - he reckoned all Chinese aircraft were bad compared to Western ones.

It seems the 'J-20' moves that debate on a bit!
 

harrier

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Engines running:


Larger:

http://www.fyjs.cn/bbs/attachments/Mon_1012/27_77247_e222486a49b0737.jpg

Looking more and more like MiG 1.44 planform, plus 'stealth' fuselage. Delta wing,
fins on mini wing booms rather than alongside engines etc.
 

JFC Fuller

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Harrier,

Agreed, very 1.44esque.

There has been allot of oft-refuted claims that the JF-17 (also a CAC product) was heavily Mig influenced. It could well be that there are close links between what used to be Mig and CAC- perhaps they acquired ex-Mig personnel.
 

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harrier said:
Erm., I think the Chinese lesson is to put the bureaucrats in charge!
In China, the bureaucrats have been in charge for millenia, resulting in what should have been a world-dominating empire being a stagnant joke, easily dominated by far-distant foreign powers. But their deathgrip has lessened of late, and their economy has been booming as a result. In the US, the bureaucrats are taking over, and or economy has been slowing to a crawl. Here we are comparing a new Chinese airplane to the top-of-the-line US equivalent... that was designed before some forum members were even *born.* By 2011, we should be well on our way not to putting the F-22 into service, but putting the F-22's replacments replacement into service.
 
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