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Shenyang FC-31 - maybe J-31 revealed!

quellish

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

sublight is back said:
It has already been noted elsewhere that the RCS reductions are not baked into the airframe but a "topcoat" put onto the skin

That is not an accurate statement.
The RCS is primarily driven by shaping. Shaping is the outer mold line, which is definitely "baked in" to the design.


Radar absorbant materials are, typically, multiple layers applied to the aircraft. The layer closest to the skin of the aircraft is conductive, with layers of absorbing material on top of that, followed by an IR topcoat. On the F-35 the inner most conductive layer is part of the structure - this is important but does not itself result in a lower RCS. The F-35 has layers of RAM and IR topcoat on top of that, like other aircraft.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!


Meant RCS reduction "material".
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

sublight is back said:
Triton said:
Source:
http://www.janes.com/article/54677/shenyang-fc-31-fighter-performance-leaked-online

Quote
....FC-31 fifth-generation fighter indicates it could pose a commercial threat to Western and Russian fighter manufacturers.
I'm sorry, I don’t buy this at all. If history is any indication, this platform will have the same sophistication and innovation as a long string of knockoff cars and handbags has had before it. EVEN IF many of the elements of the design data were garnered by illicit means, there are not hundreds of thousands of engineers with millions of man hours of experience that it takes to get all the sophisticated systems to work in an extremely effective manner. It has already been noted elsewhere that the RCS reductions are not baked into the airframe but a "topcoat" put onto the skin. This thing is not so much an F-35 but more of a "Shuanghuan SCEO" of the sky. It's like the Foxbat estimations all over again, but at least the MiG design bureau had a proven track record for innovation.

I don't think anyone believes FC-31 will single handedly dominate the international fighter market, but at present it is the only other stealth fighter proposal with a flying airframe on the export market outside of F-35...


It really depends on how much the Chinese military itself chooses to invest into development of the FC-31 proposal for a domestic medium weight stealth fighter -- the airframe at present is relatively empty and is using interim, previous generation engines. If the military chooses to integrate export cleared, J-20 class avionics onto it and invest in a new engine, it could definitely cut itself a small, neat slice of market share from some western and russian aircraft manufacturers in coming years. Hell, I think even an FC-31 with only 4.5+ generation avionics could also find itself attractive for customers.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Blitzo said:
... at present it is the only other stealth fighter proposal with a flying airframe on the export market outside of F-35...
I find it incredibly far beyond plausibility that they could go from producing Russian fighter copies to fifth generation fighters in one fantastic leap. Stolen plans to the Death Star or not, it is just unbelievable.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

sublight is back said:
Blitzo said:
... at present it is the only other stealth fighter proposal with a flying airframe on the export market outside of F-35...
I find it incredibly far beyond plausibility that they could go from producing Russian fighter copies to fifth generation fighters in one fantastic leap. Stolen plans to the Death Star or not, it is just unbelievable.

Is it though? Being able to produce flankers independently on a modern line with their own modifications and updates to make it a competitive to other modern fighters, and all the associated tests and know-how required to make it workable aircraft, is no small feat for an aerospace company. If anything, I think SAC producing its own flankers demonstrates just how good they've gotten at the aircraft development and production business... and is a logical and important stepping stone to producing their own designs.


I'm also doubtful as to the benefit of cyber espionage in assisting the development of FC-31 -- it seems like most of the discourse surrounding the suggesting revolves around FC-31's outward shape to F-22 and F-35... ignoring that almost every other small to medium sized fighter programme under development around the world features a similar configuration or has such a configuration as a major contender (ATD-X, KFX, TFX, AMCA)... And there's also the very real possibility that espionage against F-35 was not to assist their own stealth fighter development but rather to help develop counter measures against it instead, which is one scenario that most media do not seem to have considered.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Specs in question:



* Length = 16.8m
* Wingspan = 11.5 m
* Height = 4.8 m
* MTOW = 25 000 kg
* Normal take-off weight = 17,500kg
* Mach (Max) = 1.8 M
* Ceiling = 16 000 m
* Load factor = 9 / -3G
* Operating range with internal fuel = 1200 km
* TO run = 400 m
* Landing run = 600 m
* Max weapons load. = 8 tonnes
* Lifetime = 6000 - 8000 Flight hours or 30 Flight Years
 

quellish

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

sublight is back said:
Meant RCS reduction "material".

Please read the second paragraph of my response:


Radar absorbant materials are, typically, multiple layers applied to the aircraft. The layer closest to the skin of the aircraft is conductive, with layers of absorbing material on top of that, followed by an IR topcoat. On the F-35 the inner most conductive layer is part of the structure - this is important but does not itself result in a lower RCS. The F-35 has layers of RAM and IR topcoat on top of that, like other aircraft.
[/size]
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Blitzo said:
sublight is back said:
Blitzo said:
... at present it is the only other stealth fighter proposal with a flying airframe on the export market outside of F-35...
I find it incredibly far beyond plausibility that they could go from producing Russian fighter copies to fifth generation fighters in one fantastic leap. Stolen plans to the Death Star or not, it is just unbelievable.

Is it though? Being able to produce flankers independently on a modern line with their own modifications and updates to make it a competitive to other modern fighters, and all the associated tests and know-how required to make it workable aircraft, is no small feat for an aerospace company. If anything, I think SAC producing its own flankers demonstrates just how good they've gotten at the aircraft development and production business... and is a logical and important stepping stone to producing their own designs.


I'm also doubtful as to the benefit of cyber espionage in assisting the development of FC-31 -- it seems like most of the discourse surrounding the suggesting revolves around FC-31's outward shape to F-22 and F-35... ignoring that almost every other small to medium sized fighter programme under development around the world features a similar configuration or has such a configuration as a major contender (ATD-X, KFX, TFX, AMCA)... And there's also the very real possibility that espionage against F-35 was not to assist their own stealth fighter development but rather to help develop counter measures against it instead, which is one scenario that most media do not seem to have considered.

Shenyang are in the same position that Chengdu were at with the J-10 in the late 80s/early 90s, in my opinion. Chengdu had only experience in building and modifying 2nd Gen fighters and had to design a 3rd(4th) generation fighter (J-10) from the beginning with scanty resources. They succeeded in making something roughly on a par with the Teen series (with some assistance) and then moved onto a fairly original 4th(5th) generation design. Noone doubts their ability to create original designs now I think.

Shenyang have experience in building and modifying a 3rd generation fighter. They already designed a 4th (5th) generation fighter but lost out to Chengdu. They have tried again with a lighter-weight fighter design. It seems to have been a company initiative, so it is likely to be more of a tech demonstrator than a true prototype. If they were being 'derivative' you'd expect a 'Silent Flanker', but in fact it has less in common with the Su-27 than the T-50 does.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Shenyang are in the same position that Chengdu were at with the J-10 in the late 80s/early 90s, in my opinion. Chengdu had only experience in building and modifying 2nd Gen fighters and had to design a 3rd(4th) generation fighter (J-10) from the beginning with scanty resources. They succeeded in making something roughly on a par with the Teen series (with some assistance) and then moved onto a fairly original 4th(5th) generation design. Noone doubts their ability to create original designs now I think.

Shenyang have experience in building and modifying a 3rd generation fighter. They already designed a 4th (5th) generation fighter but lost out to Chengdu. They have tried again with a lighter-weight fighter design. It seems to have been a company initiative, so it is likely to be more of a tech demonstrator than a true prototype. If they were being 'derivative' you'd expect a 'Silent Flanker', but in fact it has less in common with the Su-27 than the T-50 does.

In terms of the chronology of "developing original designs" I suppose Shenyang can be considered to be at the stage Chengdu was at in the early 90s.
But in terms of the complexity and originality of projects that Shenyang has the ability to develop, I think they are probably on par with Chengdu, due to the sheer difficulty and amount of work of not only reverse engineering the flanker airframe, but then also modernizing it, and developing a number of variants with minimal outside help and with only examples of airframes as guidance.
I'd posit that SAC's experience in reverse engineering and developing its own flankers provided just as much advancement to its own capabilities and expertise as developing J-10 did for CAC.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

"AVIC Begins FC-31 Export Drive"
Nov 8, 2015 Tony Osborne | ShowNews

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/dubai-air-show-2015/avic-begins-fc-31-export-drive

China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) has stated plans to fly a production version of its FC-31 Gyrfalcon fifth-generation fighter by 2019.

Although reluctant to take questions, company officials also stated they are in negotiations with the Chinese government to offer the aircraft to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force, despite previous reports that the fighter would only be offered for export.

Speaking in Dubai, where the company is displaying a model of the FC-31 outside China for the first time as the company begins the export push for the Gyrfalcon, Li Yuhai, deputy general manager at AVIC, said the aircraft was demonstrating the “technological and management progress” of the program.

Lin Peng, the FC-31’s chief designer, hinted that the company was looking for an international partner for the aircraft rather than the relationship it has with Pakistan’s Aeronautical Complex on the JF-17. He said that international customers would be able to customize their aircraft in terms of communication systems, sensors and weapons, something that would likely only be done outside China.

He added that the aircraft would be low-observable against a number of multi-spectrum sensors, and claimed the aircraft would be stealthy against L-band and Ku-band radars.

Peng said the aircraft’s primary armament would be the PL-9 short-range missile, the SD-10A medium-range air-to-air missile and small diameter bombs. He said the aircraft would be able to carry 2,000 kg (4,400 lb.) of weapons in its single internal bay and 6,000 kg (13,220 lb.) externally.

The company would not say which engine would power production aircraft but that it would be a “advanced medium thrust engine” producing 88.29 kN. (20,000 lb./9,000 kg) of thrust. The demonstrator aircraft is currently powered by the Russian RD-93 which powers the Mikoyan MiG-29.

With a first flight planned for 2019, an initial operating capability would occur some time in 2022/23 and the aircraft would become fully operationally capable two years later.
 

Triton

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

"DUBAI: Customer sought for AVIC’s new stealth fighter"
08 November, 2015 BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dubai-customer-sought-for-avics-new-stealth-fighte-418777/

Chinese airframer AVIC has delivered a shock at Dubai by revealing a surprising level of detail about its proposed FC-31 Gyrfalcon fifth-generation multi-role fighter, even though the type has yet to secure a launch customer.

The aircraft being promoted appears to be a follow-on development of the company’s J-31, a mysterious black fighter aircraft that appeared in at the flying display at Airshow China in Zhuhai last November. The J-31 had its first flight in 2012, but virtually no details have been publicly released.

In a Dubai press briefing, Gyrfalcon designer Lin Peng said the FC-31 is envisaged as a low-observable jet with “multi-spectrum, low-observability characteristics.”

The fighter will be capable of a range of missions, including offensive/defence counter air, deep strike, suppression of enemy air defences, interdiction, close air support, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

In a video shown during the presentation, a squadron of FC-31s communicated with each other through secure datalinks. Another slide showed how the aircraft’s small cross section reduces the threat radius of enemy sensors and weapons.

No details were given about the FC-31’s sensor suite or weapons, but AVIC says this equipment and communications equipment can be tailored to customer requirements.

The aircraft has six external hardpoints, with an internal weapons bay that can carry a further four munitions. Payload is 8,000kg (17,600lb), of which 2,000kg can be carried internally. Combat radius with internal weapons is 648nm (1,200km), and maximum take-off weight is 25,000kg (55,000lb).

The first flight of a production example is planned for 2019, followed by initial operating capability in 2022 and final operating capability three years' later.

AVIC’s disclosures were striking given the veil of secrecy that has covered the J-31 programme – at Zhuhai, company representatives flatly declined to discuss the aircraft or its performance characteristics.

Still, there is a great deal of mystery about the FC-31. AVIC did not allow time for a question and answer session after the briefing, obliging reporters to crowd around executives as they attempted to exit the chalet.

During this ad hoc Q&A it emerged that the FC-31 has yet to find a launch customer, although there are discussions with the Chinese air force. Executives also decline to comment on the engines that power the J-31, believed to be the Klimov RD-93s that power the RAC MiG-29, or the powerplants for the FC-31.

Achieving the first flight in 2019 is also contingent upon securing a "well-funded" customer, it says.
 

Triton

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Published on Nov 9, 2015

At the Dubai Air Show 2015, AVIC surprised the defence community by going public with its proposed FC-31 fighter, based in the J-31 prototype. This video was captured during the press conference. Sorry about the back of that guy's head: they restricted us journos to the second row.

https://youtu.be/NSFw_ojMyGg
 

Triton

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

"China Reveals Fifth-generation FC-31 Fighter"
by David Donald
- November 8, 2015, 11:10 AM

Source:
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2015-11-08/china-reveals-fifth-generation-fc-31-fighter

China’s AVIC is displaying a model of the FC-31 fifth-generation fighter for the first time at Dubai, having first aired the concept at Airshow China in Zhuhai last year. A product of the Shenyang concern, the FC-31 is based to a large extent on that of a “J-31” prototype (31001) that has been flying since 2012, but shows some notable differences from that aircraft. The fins are shorter and more swept-back than those of the prototype, and an electro-optical sensor system is located under the nose. Aircraft 31001 made its first public appearance at last year’s Zhuhai show.

AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Stand 820) has reportedly developed the aircraft primarily for export, although there have been some suggestions that the aircraft could be intended for carrier operations. The prototype has a twin-wheel nose gear, a feature shared with most carrier-borne fighters. In the export arena, the aircraft is intended to appeal to nations seeking an F-35-style aircraft but at much lower cost. On the surface, the FC-31 shares many similarities with the Lockheed Martin aircraft, such as a low-observable shape, a wide internal weapons bay, and the ability to carry weapons on six underwing pylons in “non-stealthy” mode. It also has serpentine diverterless inlets.

AVIC has only just released a basic specification for the FC-31 aircraft. Length is 55 feet, 1.5 inches, span is 37 feet, 8.75 inches and height is 15 feet, 8.5 inches. Maximum takeoff weight is listed at 55,000 pounds and weapons carrying capability at 17,600 pounds. AVIC claims that the FC-31 will be able to reach a service ceiling of 52,500 feet, and a top speed of Mach 1.8. Combat radius is 648 nm. The airframe is stressed to +9/-3 g, and has a projected service life of 6,000 to 8,000 hours, or 30 years.

Prototype 31001 first flew with Klimov RD-93 engines bought from Russia, but it is expected that production aircraft would be powered by engines of Chinese origin, such as the Guizhou WS-13A.
 

Triton

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

"Dubai Airshow 2015: AVIC sets out plans for FC-31 export fighter"
Gareth Jennings, Dubai - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
10 November 2015

Source:
http://www.janes.com/article/55873/dubai-airshow-2015-avic-sets-out-plans-for-fc-31-export-fighter

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) plans to perform the maiden flight of a production-standard FC-31 'fifth-generation' fighter before the end of the decade, with full-operational capability to be declared a few years later, a company official said on 8 November.

Speaking at the Dubai Airshow 2015, vice-president of China's National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation Li Yuhai said that with a prototype J-31 'Falcon Eagle' having been flying since 2012, a production-model FC-31 dubbed 'King of the Hawks' will fly in 2019 before initial operating capability is declared in 2022, with full operating capability following in 2022.

As noted by Yuhai, this timetable depends on a customer launch being signed up in the near future. Billed by AVIC as an export fighter, the FC-31 has received interest from Pakistan, with IHS Jane's reporting earlier this year that the Pakistan Air Force has a potential requirement for 30 to 40 of the fighters. While Yuhai said AVIC is discussions with the People's Liberation Army Air Force, he did not provide details....
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

J-31 No Game-Changer

—John A. Tirpak

11/19/2015

​The Chinese J-31—a two-engined copy of the US F-35—does not represent “a game-changer” in the Pacific theater, Pacific Air Forces chief Gen. Lori Robinson said Wednesday. Robinson declined to provide an intelligence analysis of the J-31’s capabilities, but did say that the US technological edge is “smaller” than it used to be, particularly with regard to China’s new air systems. Even so, Robinson believes the continuous and realistic training of US air forces “gives us a great capability” and one that China can’t easily match. “We still have the edge,” she said.
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Finally no. 02 prototype for static testing spotted ...

I just did some research on the first demonstrator-prototype and its own timeline …
Following the most reliable reports I found it was transported out of SAC on the 19th June 2012 and was spotted at Tianjin on the 21st via the Beijing-Harbin Expressway … later on it was chased – sported again on 23. & 24. June – up to the AVIC 623rd Institute at Xi'an, where it reportedly arrived on Monday 25. June 2012.
The first images of the true flying prototype ‘31001’ appeared in the net on 15. September 2012 and maiden flight occurred on 31. October 2012.

Let’s see what will happen next !

Deino
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Interesting pictures Deino, I wonder when will the next flying prototype be ready?
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

bananaman said:
Could the J-31 become the next Chinese ship born fighter?
Unlikely ... following the latest statements from SAC & AVIC, the FC-31 will be developed only for export.
This fits to other unconfirmed reports stating that both the PLAAF and PLANAF have rejected this type as a new type for Chinese service ...

Deino
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

Deino said:
This fits to other unconfirmed reports stating that both the PLAAF and PLANAF have rejected this type as a new type for Chinese service ...

Deino
Any particular reason they're not interested in it?
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

There is very little official info. Basically it's conjecture based on the following:

31001 demonstrator never wore PLA's insignia. It had just manufacturer's parent company's insignia.

At 2014 Zhuhai airshow there was an official AVIC model of the plane labeled FC-31. FC is chinese label for export variant planes.

Then some weeks ago there was a rumor, posted on chinese internet forum by a member who in the past had good record of insider knowledge, that both PLAAF and PLANAF had no desire to make a plane based on 31001 demonstrator. Subsequently, chinese forum members interpreted that as analysis being done by PLAAF and PLANAF, after which both concluded any potential J-31 doesn't suit them.

His exact words were "there is no more J-31, only FC-31". That also leads people to believe AVIC will try to find funding for more work on the plane, so it can export it as FC-31.

What will actually happen with it remains to be seen...
 

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Re: Shenyang J-21 / J-31 revealed!

SAC FC-31 second prototype in revised configuration finally unveiled in a promotional video

http://www.weibo.com/tv/v/EfXEkmTOw
 

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I cannot wait until the FC-31 second prototype fly's. B)
 

Deino

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FighterJock said:
I cannot wait until the FC-31 second prototype fly's. B)
me too !
 

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The FC-31 V2 prototype from behind ... a typical step-by-step unveiling - Salamitaktik as we say in Germany - until the real bird will be shown.

Ground test has begun, looking forward to a maiden flight this month.

Deino
 

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Taken this morning at SAC: FC-31 V2 is said to have its maiden flight planned "this afternoon" ... 13:00 Beijing time seems to be the consensus. So far no confirmation.
 

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Just found this and so it seems indeed no flight was done, but "only" a high-speed taxi-test.

https://twitter.com/OedoSoldier/status/810415504078884864
 

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So the FC-31 V2 has made it's first taxi runs. That is really good news, next step is for it to fly.
 

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Congratulations to Shenyang/SAC:

Finally at around 10:00 this morning, the second and heavily revised prototype of the FC-31 – sometimes called FC-31V2 – successfully performed its maiden flight.
 

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Brilliant news, well done SAC. Cannot wait until the first video's of the flight get released. B)
 

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Wow...thanks for the pics Deino..

As you say...quite a few changes between the first and second prototype.
 

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FighterJock said:
VTOLicious said:
Seems a little strange, after all those years saying that the FC-31/J-31 is not for carrier ops, then coming out and saying that it may be for carrier ops this leaves me more than a bit confused and shocked to say the least. :-\ :eek:
The FC-31 aircraft as it has been (aka the flying prototype(s)) most definitely are not meant to be used aboard carriers, but the airframe itself can be modified for carrier use and it is the SAC offering for the Navy's carrier 5th generation fighters, vs CAC's offering which is supposedly a J-20 variant.

So in a way, FC-31 has simultaneously both been "not intended" for carrier operations (in the sense of the flying prototypes that we've seen), but also potentially may be for carrier operations (in the sense that it may be modified for carrier operations, such as if it wins the navy's competition)
 

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That is interesting news to me Blitzo, I did not know that the PLAAN were doing a competition for a new ship born fighter before, I wonder if they will go for a carrier variant of the FC-31 since it is smaller than the J-20, because there is not much room on board an aircraft carrier.
 
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