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.