Shenyang FC-31 prototype to J-XY / J-35 naval fighter

helmutkohl

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Just asking in passing (no intend of starting a flame war) does this mean that Chinese carrier fast-jet wings will be a mix of J-15 and FC-31 ? big non stealth bird and smaller stealth one ?
Would make it similar to the Superbug / F-35 mix presently found on US decks.
Or did I missed a third Chinese naval combat jet ?

perhaps Deino would know more
but i havent heard of anything else besides the J-15 and FC-31
although some time ago there were murmurings of some kind of VTOL aircraft, I don't think anything more came out of that.
 

Deino

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Just asking in passing (no intend of starting a flame war) does this mean that Chinese carrier fast-jet wings will be a mix of J-15 and FC-31 ? big non stealth bird and smaller stealth one ?
Would make it similar to the Superbug / F-35 mix presently found on US decks.
Or did I missed a third Chinese naval combat jet ?

Sorry for the late reply but indeed, it was always expected that the J-15 will remain the PLAN's workhorse for several years to come and I expect the first aircraft to operate off the 003 to be solely the J-15B (aka serial J-15T) until the J-35 and KJ-600 will enter service later in the decade.

But maybe @Blitzo can add more.

Just asking in passing (no intend of starting a flame war) does this mean that Chinese carrier fast-jet wings will be a mix of J-15 and FC-31 ? big non stealth bird and smaller stealth one ?
Would make it similar to the Superbug / F-35 mix presently found on US decks.
Or did I missed a third Chinese naval combat jet ?

perhaps Deino would know more
but i havent heard of anything else besides the J-15 and FC-31
although some time ago there were murmurings of some kind of VTOL aircraft, I don't think anything more came out of that.

Indeed and I don't think there will be a VSTOL type ever, at least in the near future. By my understanding the PLAN will prefer to add UCAVS - IMO first as a variant of the CAC Wind Shadow / Cloud Shadow UAV we've seen on the catapult track at Huangdicun or maybe the new CH-6 and later eventually a Dark Sword or CH-7.
 

helmutkohl

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^ I have a question

since the PLAN will operate both STOBAR and CATOBAR carriers
will the J-15 and J-35?FC-31? be modified to operate on both type of carriers?
 

Deino

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^ I have a question

since the PLAN will operate both STOBAR and CATOBAR carriers
will the J-15 and J-35?FC-31? be modified to operate on both type of carriers?

I'm not sure. IMO the regular J-15s are for the 001/002 but surely the improved J-15B (cat-capable) can also operate off the two carriers. However from the 003 I expect only the J-15B and J-35. On the other side, why shouldn't the J-35 operate off the 001/002 like the regular J-15s do?
 

Archibald

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^ I have a question

since the PLAN will operate both STOBAR and CATOBAR carriers
will the J-15 and J-35?FC-31? be modified to operate on both type of carriers?

I'm not sure. IMO the regular J-15s are for the 001/002 but surely the improved J-15B (cat-capable) can also operate off the two carriers. However from the 003 I expect only the J-15B and J-35. On the other side, why shouldn't the J-35 operate off the 001/002 like the regular J-15s do?

Interesting. Never realized before China will be the one and only country in the world mixing ski-jump carriers and cats carriers, and accordingly - J-15 related variants. Plus steam-vs-EMALS: they may have carriers with all three approaches !
For the J-35 - no idea. It depends if, like the big Su-27 and its derivatives, it has enough fuel and weapon load to afford losing some of it to a ski-jump system. Otherwise it will be CATOBAR only.
 

Archibald

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The flexibility between J-15 variants is intriguing.
- J-15 can takeoff only STOBAR, can't use cats.
- J-15B don't care about takeoff or landing, STOBAR or CATOBAR .
- But can a J-15 land on a CATOBAR carrier ?
Is the arrestor gear similar ? no reason it isn't...
(only to be stuck there: can't use the cats, has no ski jump. Note that French Alizées did tookoff from Clems without catapults, using the full length of the deck, little fuel and no weapons)
Throw EMALS and steamcats into the lot, plus UAVs, and the Chinese deck crews will have a lot of fun.
 

helmutkohl

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^ I have a question

since the PLAN will operate both STOBAR and CATOBAR carriers
will the J-15 and J-35?FC-31? be modified to operate on both type of carriers?

I'm not sure. IMO the regular J-15s are for the 001/002 but surely the improved J-15B (cat-capable) can also operate off the two carriers. However from the 003 I expect only the J-15B and J-35. On the other side, why shouldn't the J-35 operate off the 001/002 like the regular J-15s do?

Interesting. Never realized before China will be the one and only country in the world mixing ski-jump carriers and cats carriers, and accordingly - J-15 related variants. Plus steam-vs-EMALS: they may have carriers with all three approaches !
For the J-35 - no idea. It depends if, like the big Su-27 and its derivatives, it has enough fuel and weapon load to afford losing some of it to a ski-jump system. Otherwise it will be CATOBAR only.

India could be the the next one, with their third carrier which is supposed to be larger..

and maybe the UK.. not too long ago me and another person posted some news about the UK wanting to add Catapults to launch UCAVs. But they haven't decided anything. the options are to put it on the side next to the ski jump, or on the "angled" deck part, working with the ski jump.
Or removing the ski jump altogether.

While I am still quite interested on how STOVL carrier operations can work on a larger ship, and its benefits (potentially less fatigue on the jet due to easier landings, and less pilot demands for training and retention)..

in retrospect maybe it would have been better had the UK went catobar from the beginning.
 

riggerrob

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2 tires on the front? If one tire blows does the 2nd tires prevent an incident with these setups?
It has two nose wheels set far apart from each other because it's designed for the Navy and the wheels have to clear the launch shuttle. On other aircraft, such as the mirage F-1, by going with two smaller wheels as opposed to one large nose wheel, that can help with storing the retracted gear within the fuselage.
Dual wheels also reduce shimmying.
 

Blitzo

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Just asking in passing (no intend of starting a flame war) does this mean that Chinese carrier fast-jet wings will be a mix of J-15 and FC-31 ? big non stealth bird and smaller stealth one ?
Would make it similar to the Superbug / F-35 mix presently found on US decks.
Or did I missed a third Chinese naval combat jet ?

Sorry for the late reply but indeed, it was always expected that the J-15 will remain the PLAN's workhorse for several years to come and I expect the first aircraft to operate off the 003 to be solely the J-15B (aka serial J-15T) until the J-35 and KJ-600 will enter service later in the decade.

But maybe @Blitzo can add more.

That's my impression as well
 

isayyo2

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The flexibility between J-15 variants is intriguing.
- J-15 can takeoff only STOBAR, can't use cats.
- J-15B don't care about takeoff or landing, STOBAR or CATOBAR .
- But can a J-15 land on a CATOBAR carrier ?
Is the arrestor gear similar ? no reason it isn't...
(only to be stuck there: can't use the cats, has no ski jump. Note that French Alizées did tookoff from Clems without catapults, using the full length of the deck, little fuel and no weapons)
Throw EMALS and steamcats into the lot, plus UAVs, and the Chinese deck crews will have a lot of fun.
If their nose gear can't be modified perhaps they'll end up in training squadrons and/or static instructors?

Like you're saying the J-15B (AESA, nose-tow gear, WS-10, etc) would be agnostic towards Ramps or Catapult and their pilots would be trained for both?
 

FighterJock

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Looking forward to seeing the new carrier based variant of the FC-31, I wonder what differences there will be between the land based variant will be? Apart from the obvious strengthened landing gear and tail hook. Any thoughts?
 

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I tend to believe that there wont be much change aside from those mentioned (tailhook & landing gear). Internals however might include stronger structures and therefore somewhat larger empty weight. We might see WS-19 for the first time.

The other possible differences might be larger wing area, for more fuel and lift.
 

FighterJock

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I tend to believe that there wont be much change aside from those mentioned (tailhook & landing gear). Internals however might include stronger structures and therefore somewhat larger empty weight. We might see WS-19 for the first time.

The other possible differences might be larger wing area, for more fuel and lift.

I really hope that the new WS-19 engine gets installed in the naval variant stealthflanker, that would be the icing on the cake.
 

stealthflanker

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What i would like to see tho is scaled up version... as big as J-15. Thus essentially emulates Carlo Kopp's wish for "F/A-22N" That will simplify logistics somewhat as J-15 and the "Big J-31" can share engines plus growth potentials especially in cooling and airframe space. and of course.. sidebays. leaving the main bay for ground or maritime strike pounding.
 

totoro

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Scaled up to flanker is impossible. While some scaling up from the 31 demonstrator is probable, it will likely be limited by the engine thrust. If the Ws18 engine can do 100 kn, then I guess a 12 ton (empty) j31 might be plausible.
 

FighterJock

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Scaled up to flanker is impossible. While some scaling up from the 31 demonstrator is probable, it will likely be limited by the engine thrust. If the Ws18 engine can do 100 kn, then I guess a 12 ton (empty) j31 might be plausible.

I suppose we will just need to wait and see when the naval JF-31 is revealed as to what improvements that Shenyang have made.
 

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It's not just the canopy, the whole hump behind the cockpit now appears slightly larger, with a gentler curve toward the plane's body and more voluminous compared to the older hump.
 

helmutkohl

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i dont know if its just the picture being of poor quality
but it seems the radome shape has slightly changed to a simple diamond shape
the earlier ones had more zags
img_55-1_68.jpg
 

FighterJock

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i dont know if its just the picture being of poor quality
but it seems the radome shape has slightly changed to a simple diamond shape
the earlier ones had more zags
img_55-1_68.jpg

The new diamond shaped nose could well mean that there might be a new style of AESA radar inside that makes the redesign of the nose necessary. I wonder what Deino has to say about it.
 

totoro

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31001 is just a tech/concept demonstrator. So I wouldn't use it as a comparison for anything related to final subsystems such as sensors.
 

stealthflanker

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Reminds me of F-22 vs YF-22.

The YF-22 "radome" was more into RCS management and structure while the operational one have curvilinear geometry, balancing the needs of getting good transmission, stealth and aerodynamics+structure.
 

FighterJock

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Reminds me of F-22 vs YF-22.

The YF-22 "radome" was more into RCS management and structure while the operational one have curvilinear geometry, balancing the needs of getting good transmission, stealth and aerodynamics+structure.

So SAC could be trying out two different radome's for much the same reason.
 

siegecrossbow

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Some glaring differences between the J-35 prototype and FC-31V2.0:

1) EOTS below the nose.
2) F-35 style cockpit with a larger hump behind it.
3) Foldable wings.

Unfortunately the nozzles are clear from this angle.
 

Blitzo

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Some glaring differences between the J-35 prototype and FC-31V2.0:

1) EOTS below the nose.
2) F-35 style cockpit with a larger hump behind it.
3) Foldable wings.

Unfortunately the nozzles are clear from this angle.

Of course the other most visible carrier related modification is the catapult launch bar on the nosegear.
 

helmutkohl

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^ is it just me or the angle..
but it seems the cockpit shape is quite different now
 

UpForce

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^ is it just me or the angle..
but it seems the cockpit shape is quite different now

Seems to be. Weird that they went with such a faithful ... erm .... "tribute", "cover" (?) of the F-35 as its shape is largely dictated by the lift fan requirement isn't it? Even supposing that they've got a version of sensor fusion and helmet mounted display working it's not easy to imagine any one function that shape would serve in that application.
 

Blitzo

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^ is it just me or the angle..
but it seems the cockpit shape is quite different now

Yes the aircraft has bulked up a bit in places, including behind dorsal fuselage behind the canopy.
Apparently the canopy flips forward now.

I can imagine that enlarged dorsal canopy hump adds a decent bit of fuel.


Someone also managed to track down a paper talking about some aerodynamic benefits of the revised geometry but I can't recall the details.
 

Bounce

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It could also be something simple like extra strength to the overall fuselage for the harsher landing stresses IMO.
 

Blitzo

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It could also be something simple like extra strength to the overall fuselage for the harsher landing stresses IMO.

I certainly expect that the airframe would be strengthened for carrier operations, but it wouldn't really require extra volume in that manner which is so externally visible.
 

martinbayer

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How topical. A recent paper, posted via by78 over on SDF.

Jeez, I wonder what this paper from Shenyang about a carrier based stealth fighter depicting "before" and "after" modifications might refer to.
How interesting, it has DSIs but it doesn't have canards behind the intakes... I wonder what aircraft from Shenyang exists, that is stealthy, has DSIs, lacks canards behind the DSIs, and might be appropriate for modification to a carrier based variant.

I mean, it's not like we've had overwhelming rumours over the last 2-3 years about an aircraft that specifically fills the above criteria that has been resoundingly stated as the PLAN's choice for its 5th generation carrier based fighter.
And it's definitely not like we've recently had a mock up of such an aircraft visibly seen on the PLAN's dedicated land based carrier mock up facility...


Yes, it's totally reasonable for any military aviation enthusiast to talk about the forthcoming PLAN 5th generation fighter as if its overall characteristics are still a valid topic to debate.



A Brief Analysis on the Key Technologies of Aerodynamic Design of a Stealth Carrier-based Aircraft
Abstract
: Several key technologies and engineering approaches in the aerodynamic design of a stealth carrier-based aircraft are introduced in this paper. Based on three requirments – enhanced lift at take-off and landing, refined drag reduction for supersonic flow, and the balanced design of load reduction – the concepts of extreme narrow-range aerodynamic design under multi-specialty constraints such as performance, stability, weight and stealth are laid out. Research shows that enhanced lift at take-off and landing can be achieved by flap design and optimization of three-dimensional bending of wings. The drag of the aircraft can be reduced by optimizing the cockpit shape and the compressible/expansion waves at the fuselage and the directions of the overflow suction. Moreover, the load reduction of the horizontal stabilizers can be achieved by the reverse bending design of the lower fuselage and the arresting hook hatch.


View attachment 660821View attachment 660822View attachment 660823View attachment 660824View attachment 660825
How helpful is this posting in an English language forum?
 

Ainen

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It could also be something simple like extra strength to the overall fuselage for the harsher landing stresses IMO.
At this point, it's more of a completely redesigned airframe, not just extra here/there. Which is probably a good sign.
I.e. it's a Shenyang version of YF-17 -> F-18 transition.

It will be interesting to see, though if FC-31 v.3 itself is more of "F-17"(i.e. evolution of original) or "F-18L"(lightened carrier aircraft).
 

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