When I first saw the leaked images of the Chinese Chengdu J-20 a fifth generation stealth aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) I could not notice a resemblance to at least three other type of aircraft: the F-22 Raptor, currently operating with the USAF; the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23, a prototype fighter built in two examples that lost the contest to the Lockheed Martin F-22 for the USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter; and the the Mig-31 “Firefox”, a fictional aircraft appearing in “Firefox”, a 1982 action film produced and directed by, and starring, Clint Eastwood based on a 1977 novel written by Craig Thomas. Three aircraft: a contemporary one, a prototype and a fictional one, bringing us to some conclusions:
- The aircraft design is clearly inspired to the F-22
- The J-20 is sensibly larger than the F-22 and F-35
- The aft fuselage and nozzle geometry are not “stealth compliant” meaning that the authenticity of the photos is questionable (even though the aircraft could simply be a technology demonstrator or a very early prototype)
I’ll let you judge by yourself.
Actually, also the Russian Sukhoi T-50 (PA FAK) has many similarities with the J-20 as the following Sukhoi images show: