Video of China’s second stealth fighter’s maiden flight

The prototype of what is believed to be the China’s second stealth fighter jet performed its maiden flight on Oct 31, when it took off at 10:32 AM Local Time from the runway of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation facility.

Although quite short, the 11-minute flight got (once again) much media attention. As happened with the J-20 “Mighty Dragon”, all the images purposely leaked on the various Chinese defense forums have been closely inspected, to try to get few more details than those pointed out by the first photographs.

Accompained by a J-15 (Sukhoi Su-27) on its firts flight, the new aircraft seems to be a merge between an F-22 Raptor, the most advanced (and troubled), (multi-role) fighter jet in the U.S. Air Force inventory, and the F-35 Lightning II.

Image credit: goneless

With the Raptor, the Falcon Eagle share the shape of the nose section and the twin tails; whereas it features the same dimensions, wing type and dimensions of  the Joint Strike Fighter.

Even if it’s not clear whether the J-31 and J-20 will complement each other in future operations (most probably, they will be both operated by Beijing’s Air Force or Navy), it must be noticed that China is currently the only country known to be developing two stealth fighters simultaneously.

Anyway, the above footage, along with twin nose wheels shows what seems to be a tough landing gear, a distinguishing feature of combat planes operating from aircraft carriers. Indeed, one of the theories surrounding the mysterious J-31 is that the aircraft could soon start launch and recovery tests from Liaoning, the ex-Varyag, China’s first aircraft carrier undergoing test cruses since 2011.

About David Cenciotti 4428 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

4 Comments

  1. It has just taken its first flight but may start sea trials soon? Huh, who on earth has said that? Sorry man, it will take a couple of years at least before it hits the boat, and that is on historic Chinese development timescales not American. Also, agree they could migrate this jet to a carrier variant but two nose wheels do not mean much. The J-10 has twin nose wheels, so do many other fighters, but they are not flying off of flattops man.

  2. The chase plane is a J-11BS, not a J-15. Note the lack of canards. I am quite surprised, you mixed those up…

  3. By the way…I am somewhat astonished over so many comments connecting the twin wheels to a carrier-based design. The J-10 has the same landing gear (similar-looking too, ie not less “tough”) and the evidence here so far suggests, its not meant to be a carrier aircraft, despite many fanboy CGIs to the contrary.

    I am not saying, the Chinese are not looking at having a 5th gen carrier AC, its just that there really is nothing in these pictures to suggest that purpose.

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