Tag Archives: Chengdu

Third Prototype of China’s Stealth Jet Makes Maiden Flight and Shows Improvements

Chengdu J-20 Stealth Fighter Jet “2011” has eventually made its maiden flight. A composite image shows how different third prototype is from the the first one.

The third prototype of China’s 5th generation fighter jet made its maiden flight on Mar. 1.

As already explained, Beijing’s radar-evading plane shows several differences from the first (and second) prototype aircraft, a sign China is improving and developing more in the field of low observability applied to fighter jets.

These are, an overall light grey color scheme similar to that of U.S. stealth planes (most probably a radar-absorbing coating); new air intakes; completely redesigned nose section and radome (once again showing resemblance with F-22/F-35); dielectric panels in the front fuselage below the completely redesigned canopy; EOTS (Electro-Optical Targeting System); differently shaped gear bays and slightly different tail fins tips.

Use the top image to check on the one below (click for a higher resolution image) some of the differences between J-20 “2001” (first prototype) and J-20 “2011”.

J-20 2001-11 composite

Composite image created with images from Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Internet (cjdby.net).

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Upgraded, third prototype of China’s stealth jet ready for maiden flight

J-20 Mighty Dragon “2011” has already completed hi-speed taxi tests.

In the last few days, the extremely active Chinese aircraft enthusiasts have documented the ground activity of the third prototype of the J-20 “Mighty Dragon” stealth fighter jet.

The new pictures show the J-20 coded “2011” performing taxi tests at Chengdu airfield. Following a high-speed taxi, the aircraft raised the nose and then deployed the drag chute to reduce speed: the usual steps that precede the first take off.

What is really interesting about the new plane is that it seems to embed a series of improvements. According to several reports it has a new air intake design, shorter engine nozzles and a (basic?) sensor fusion technology.

J-20 third prototype

For sure the J-20 has something worth a mention: a revised nose section, much similar to that of the much criticised F-35, with an IRST/EOTS (Infra Red Search and Track / Electro Optical Tracking System) – used to hunt low observable aircraft, and a metal finish that loosely reminds the radar absorbing Haze Paint first used on F-16s.

Image credit: Chinese Internet, cjdby.net, fyjs.cn


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Has China just rolled out third prototype of J-20 stealth fighter jet?

What could be the third prototype of the Chengdu J-20 fifth generation stealth fighter (to be coded “2003”?), was recently spotted at Chengdu airfield.

New images and videos from China show a mysterious roll-out of a seemingly new prototype (for sure it doesn’t appear to be coded as the existing ones – namely, “2001” and “2002”).

Still, someone believes the new aircraft is just the second test plane with a furtherly modified radome, used to fit an active electronically scanned array (AESA) set.

Indeed, the “Mighty Dragon” coded 2002 has not flown for a while: a possible sign that it was being modified.

Image credit: lt.cjdby.net

Another interesting feature of the “new” J-20 is a slit located just ahead of the canopy that could be used to fit a laser rangefinder or a Airborne Electro Optic (EO) Infra-Red Search and Track System (IRST) system for searching, detecting and tracking airborne and ground targets which give off infrared radiation.

For instance, Russian combat planes as the Su-27 or the Mig-29 are equipped with Optiko-Lokatsionnaya-Stantsiya (Optical Locator Station) OLS-27/29 opto-electronic sighting systems located more or less in the same place.

The second prototype of the Chengdu J-20 fifth generation stealth fighter, coded 2002, flew for the first time on May 16, 2012. The first prototype coded 2001, has been involved in the testing activities since Jan. 11, 2011.

Last month, pictures of a new type of Chinese stealth plane, the Shenyang J-31 “Falcon Eagle” (a sort of copy of the F-22 Raptor) leaked online.

Video: First flight of China's second J-20 Mighty Dragon prototype

After the images appeared on the Chinese Internet few hours after the aircraft had landed, a video showing the China’s second J-20 stealth fighter prototype performing its first flight at Chengdu on May 16, 2012 has just been uploaded to Youtube.

Soundtrack aside, the video is enjoyable as it gives the opportunity to see the fifth generation plane during the taxi, (quite short) take off roll and landing phases of its maiden flight.

Photo evidence: Maiden flight for the second China’s J-20 stealth fighter prototype

After a series of high-speed taxi tests with the nosewheel off the ground and subsequent use of the drag chute, here are the first images published on the Chinese forums showing the second J-20 stealth fighter prototype performing its first flight at Chengdu.

Image credit: http://club.mil.news.sina.com.cn/