Tag Archives: People’s Liberation Army

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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China’s Black Hawk helicopter clone makes first flight

On Dec. 23, at 14.11 Local Time, Chinese medium lift utility helicopter dubbed Z-20 made its first flight.

As the image (published on a Chinese Internet website and then made available by Alert5) shows, the chopper is clearly based on the U.S. Black Hawk type (China operates 24 Black Hawk procured in 1983 as S-70C-2).

Still, it features some peculiar things: the 5-blade rotor, a larger cabin and a different landing gear and tail.

Z-20 is believed to be a 10-ton chopper that will be used to replace Mi-17 and Mi-171 helos within People’s Liberation Army.

Image via Alert5

 

 

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[Video] China’s first Weaponized Stealth Drone makes maiden flight

On Nov. 21, at 1.00PM LT, Lijian (“sharp sword”), China’s first weaponized stealth drone successfully completed its maiden flight from Hongdu.

The UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) flew for 20 minutes: a short test flight that marked China’s third indigenous stealth aircraft in three years, which follows the J-20 Mighty Dragon and J-31 Falcon Eagle stealth fighter jets.

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Mysterious helicopter emerges in China: a new, stolen model or a cloned Bin Laden raid’s stealth chopper?

An interesting image has emerged from the prolific Chinese Internet.

It depicts a mysterious helicopter being moved on a truck in China. Even if the aircraft is hidden below a protective covering, its shape can be guessed.

The chopper seems to have something in common with the U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk, hence it may be a Z-20, a Chinese model believed to be based on the S-70C, a medium transport/utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky already in service with the People’s Liberation Army.

However, there is another intriguing and (less likely) possibility: China has reverse-engineered the Stealth Black Hawk helicopter used by the Navy SEALs in the Osama Bin Laden raid.

Obviously this is a far fetched theory, since only a few chunks survived the crash landing at Abbottabad. Still, on Aug. 14, 2011, several media outlets all around the world, published the news that China was given access by Pakistani intelligence to the remains of the Stealth Black Hawk used during Operation Neptune’s Spear.

What if they copied the general design of the tail rotor and, just like this author did with Ugo Crisponi, designed a chopper whose shape is similar to the one of the U.S. black MH-X or the Israeli Stealth Yanshuf?

Image credit: via Chinese Military Aviation

 

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Is this China’s new Long Range Strike stealth aircraft?

The following image, found by Chinese military aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht, shows the shape of what could be a future Chinese stealth bomber plane.

True or false? A model plane or just the base of a future radar evading attack plane?

Hard to say.

For sure, the shape of this alleged LRS (long range strike) stealth aircraft is intriguing and shows input from several existing U.S. planes, including the F-117 Nighthawk and the YF-23.  Furthermore, some of Beijing’s works were leaked in the form scale models during local exhibitions hence, even if unlikely, it is not completely impossible that the one depicted in the photographs and artwork above is the Chinese answer to the Russian sixth-generation pilotless strategic bomber based on the PAK-DA or the American X-51, Falcon HTV-2 and other hypersonic development programs on which U.S.’s perspective strike capability will be based.

China is working a lot on stealth planes.

Last month, few hours before the U.S. Navy launched the the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time, images of China’s first weaponized stealth drone emerged from the Chinese Internet.

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