Tag Archives: J-20

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/

[Updated] Photo: Second China’s J-20 stealth fighter prototype (almost) makes maiden flight

On May 14, 2012, the second prototype of the J-20 Mighty Dragon, serialled “2002”, performed a high-speed taxi at Chengdu.

Once again the images of the first flight were immediately available on the Chinese Internet and the news of the second prototype’s first flight spread across the world.

However, according to some sources, the aircraft did not take off: it performed a high-speed taxi, raised the nose and then deployed the drag chute to reduce speed. It’s a particular kind of test Chinese have performed with the first prototype too.

As explained in an article published few days ago the aircraft coded “2002″ has a slightly different nose section than the first prototype, coded “2001″.

Image credit: Chinese Internet /HobbyShangai

Second China’s J-20 stealth fighter prototype's new radome: a sign of an installed AESA radar set?

New images published on the Chinese Internet (and in particular those available on the HobbyShangai.net site) showing China’s J-20 “Mighty Dragon” new prototype clearly show an interesting detail: the aircraft coded “2002” has a slightly different nose section than the first prototype, coded “2001”.

In particular, instead of being installed on the right hand side of the radome, the pitot static boom of the new prototype (whose first test flight is imminent) sticks out of the radome’s point.

Image credit: HobbyShangai.net

The pitot tube, used to determine the aircraft’s airspeed, is usually put on the nose of the plane or the wing: anywhere as long as it is always pointed in the direction of the flow. However, its position on series production planes does not always match the one on prototypes: the latter often carry simplified wirings or lack complete (radar) systems, hence they sport different radome shapes.

Although the change in the pitot position and the new radome can be related to many technical reasons, they could also be a sign of a different kind of radar fitted inside the new radome.

An active electronically scanned array (AESA) set?

The second prototype of the Chengdu J-20 fifth generation stealth fighter, coded 2002, could soon fly along the first one, coded 2001, that has been involved in the testing activities since Jan. 11, 2011.