Video of Latest Test Flight of Chengdu J-20

This video from Jan. 21, 2013 shows the latest test flight of the Chinese fifth generation stealth fighter Chengdu J-20, in Chengdu, China. On takeoff it seems to be so loud it set off car alarms.

The J-20 may have lower supercruise speed, yet greater range, and less agility than the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor or Sukhoi PAK FA, but might have larger weapons bays and carry more fuel. The J-20 is expected to be fully operational in 2017–2019.

The J-20 made its first flight on 11 January 2011. The J-20 was one of the stealth fighter programs under the codename J-XX that was launched in the late 1990s. It was designated “Project 718″, and won the PLAAF endorsement in a 2008 competition against a Shenyang proposal that was reportedly even larger than J-20.
The Chengdu J-20 is a single-seat, twin-engine aircraft which appears to be larger and heavier than the comparable Sukhoi T-50 and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The engine currently being used on J-20 is unknown, but is speculated to be either a Russian AL-31 derivative or a version of the domestic WS-10. There is a belief that China is unable to produce a domestic turbofan engine to power the J-20 and will continue to use Russian engines for the aircraft. China has been working on a 15 to 18 tons turbofan engine designated as the WS-15 since the early 2000s. In late 2012, China announced a $50 billion investment program to catch up in the field of military turbofans. At the end of 2012, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced several breakthroughs in producing alloys for engine turbines, reaching standards used by leading global engine manufacturers. At the 2012 Zhuhai air show, Russia approached China with its 117S engine in an unsolicited attempt to sell Su-35. Defense analysts speculated that Russia hoped China would buy 117S engines as a back-up for the J-20 in case the WS-15 suffers production delays, so as to finally secure export orders for the Su-35. However, China was not interested in the Su-35 plane itself and only showed some interest in the 117S engine itself.

1 Response

  1. Chris Hansen says:

    Sukhoi or F-22 are much more elegant planes.

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