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Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle production by bagera3005 Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle production by bagera3005
The Chengdu J-20 (simplified Chinese: 歼-20; traditional Chinese: 殲-20) is a stealth, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter aircraft prototype being developed by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The J-20 made its first flight on 11 January 2011,and is expected to be operational in 2017–2019.

China's J-20 platform has the potential to be a capable, long-range strike system in the Asia-Pacific region, but a number of technical challenges will need to be overcome before production can begin.

Origins of the J-20 came from the J-XX program which was started in the late 1990s. A proposal from Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, designated “Project 718”, had won the PLAAF endorsement following a 2008 competition against a Shenyang proposal that was reportedly even larger than the J-20. China decided to develop stealth fighters on its own despite being invited twice by Russia to jointly develop the PKA-FA, because it believe that its designs are superior to Russia's PAK-FA.

On 22 December 2010, the first J-20 prototype underwent high speed taxiing tests outside the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute.
Flight testing

On 11 January 2011, the J-20 made its first flight, lasting about 15 minutes, a Chengdu J-10S served as the chase aircraft. A ceremony held after the flight was attended by the pilot, Li Gang, Chief Designer Yang Wei and General Li Andong (Deputy-Director of General Armaments).On 17 April 2011, a second test flight of an hour and 20 minutes took place. On 5 May 2011, a 55-minute test flight was held that included retraction of the landing gear.On 26 February 2012, a J-20 performed various low altitude maneuvers.

On 10 May 2012, a second prototype underwent high speed taxiing tests, flight testing began later that month. On 20 October 2012, photographs of a new prototype emerged; it featured a different radome, speculated to house an AESA radar. In March 2013, images of the aircraft's side weapon bays appeared, including an unidentified missile installed on a launch rail. On 16 January 2014, a J-20 prototype was revealed, showing intakes similar to those used the F-35, stealth coating on its wing and tail edges, and a system similar alleged to be an Electro-Optical Targeting System.[3][21][22]
Chengdu J-20 prototype

The J-20 has a long and wide fuselage, with the chiseled nose section and a frameless canopy resembling that of the F-22 Raptor. Immediately behind the cockpit are low observable intakes mounted with a pair of upturned canards. They are followed by leading edge extension and a diamond wing. The aft section features canted all-moving fins and conventional round engine exhausts.

The delta canard configuration provides high supersonic performance, excellent supersonic and transonic turn performance, and better short field landing performance than conventional delta wing designs.[26][27][28]

Song Wencong, Chief Engineer at Chengdu Aircraft, published a research paper that described high instability as an important design criteria for the J-20. The criteria requires good pitch-authority at a high angle-of-attack, which cannot be provided by a tailplane due to the tailplane's ineffectiveness at such flight profile. An all-moving canard, like the one on the J-20, is capable of deflecting at the same magnitude but opposite to the angle-of-attack, thereby maintaining stability and control.

Song Wencong's paper further explains that leading-edge extension and body lift enhances performance in a canard layout. The paper states that the J-20's configuration generates 1.2 times the lift of an ordinary canard delta, and 1.8 times more lift than an aircraft that purely relies on wing for lift. This permits the use of small aspect-ratio wing, reducing supersonic drag without compromising the transonic lift-to-drag characteristics crucial to the aircraft's turn performance.

According to the Jamestown Foundation, the J-20 once fully developed, will be a high performance stealth aircraft, capable of competing in most cardinal performance parameters (i.e. speed, altitude, stealth, and agility) with the F-22A Raptor. If the engines can deliver 40,000 – 50,000 lb of thrust, the J-20 will be viable as an air combat fighter, air defense interceptor and deep strike fighter; if thrust performance falls below this benchmark, the aircraft would lack the agility for close air combat, but still be effective as an interceptor or bomber.

The prototype's engine is believed to be the WS-10 and the AL-31 derivative.Western analysts believe that China is currently working on an advanced domestic turbofan engine similar to the American F119 to power the J-20 and will use Russian engines for the time being. Some believe that China will use the AL-41 117S through the purchase of the Su-3; However China denied the Su-35 deal. At the 2012 Zhuhai Air Show, Russia approached China with its 117S engine in an unsuccessful attempt to sell the Su-35.

The production version of the J-20's is speculated to feature the WS-15, a turbofan engine producing 18 tons of thrust in development since the early 1990s. According to Global Security, the engine core, composed of high pressure compressors, the combustion chamber, and high pressure turbines were successfully tested in 2005.[39] An image of the core appeared in the 2006 Zhuhai Air Show.

In 2012, China announced a $24 billion investment program to catch up in the field of military turbofans.[40] At the end of 2012, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced several breakthroughs in producing alloys for engine turbines, reaching standards used by leading global engine manufacturers.


The aircraft features a glass cockpit, with two large color liquid crystal displays (LCD) situated side-by-side and three smaller ones in the surrounding, and a wide-angle holographic head-up display (HUD).Many of these subsystems have been tested onboard J-10Bs to speed up the development.

The J-20 has a large weapon bay, housing both short and long-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) (PL-10, PL-12C/D & PL-21) and two smaller lateral weapon bays behind the air inlets for short-range AAMs (PL-10).[citation needed]

The smaller side weapons bays are equipped with missile deployment mechanisms, these extract a missile from a bay prior to the bay's door being closed behind it.

Analysts noted that J-20's nose and canopy use similar stealth shaping design as the F-22, yielding similar signature performance in a mature design at the front, while the aircraft's side and axi-symmetric engine nozzles may expose the aircraft to radar. One prototype has been powered by WS-10G engines equipped with a different jagged-edge nozzles and tiles for greater stealth.

Some commenters have doubted the use of canards on a low-observable design, stating that canards would guarantee radar detection and a compromise of stealth. Yet, the J-20 is not the first low-observability design to feature canards. Northrop Grumman's proposal for the U.S Navy's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) incorporated canards on a stealthy airframe.[51][52] Lockheed Martin employed canards on a stealth aircraft for the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program during early development.[53][54] McDonnell Douglas and NASA's X-36 featured canards and was considered to be extremely stealthy. The Eurofighter reduces its Radar Cross Section by carefully controlling canard deflection through its flight control software.

The diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) enables an aircraft to reach Mach 2.0 with a simpler intake than traditionally required, and improves stealth performance by eliminating radar reflections between the diverter and the aircraft's skin. Analysts have noted that the J-20 DSI reduces the need for application of radar absorbent materials.[58][59] Additionally, the "bump" surface reduces the engine's exposure to radar, significantly reducing a strong source of radar reflection.[60]
Strategic implications

The first test flight coincided with a visit by United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to China, and was initially interpreted by Pentagon officials as a possible signal to the visiting U.S. delegation.[61] After meeting with Hu Jintao, Secretary Gates told reporters in Beijing, "I asked President Hu about it directly, and he said that the test had absolutely nothing to do with my visit and had been a pre-planned test."[6][62] Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin University who specializes in China-U.S. relations, suggested that President Hu being unaware of the test raised questions about the nature of civilian control of the Chinese military.[63][64] Michael Swaine, an expert on the PLA and United States - China military relations, explained that it is possible that "senior officials did not know that this flight test would occur on this precise day", and was not necessarily an effort to insult the U.S. delegation or embarrass President Hu. Decisions regarding military aircraft development are routinely managed by engineers and mid-level officials more than by civilian or military leadership. Coupled with the initially limited Chinese media coverage of the event, it is likely that the test may not have been considered significant enough to warrant notifying President Hu.[61]

In 2011, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper testified that the United States knew about the program for a "long time" and that the test flight was not a surprise.[65] On the other hand, a 2012 report by the U.S.‐China Economic and Security Review Commission suggests that the United States may have underestimated the speed of development of the J-20 and several other Chinese military development projects.[66] Robert Gates questioned how stealthy the J-20 may be, but also stated that its development potentially "put some of our capabilities at risk, and we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programs."[67]

As photographs of the prototype surfaced, observers including Bill Sweetman indicated that the J-20 may be a long-range interceptor, similar to the role of the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark or the MiG-25 with stealth, although this conflicts with the "J" designation traditionally reserved by the PLAAF for air superiority fighters.[68][48][69][70] Sweetman also indicated that the J-20 may have lower supercruise speed and agility, yet greater range, than a F-22 Raptor or PAK FA, but may also have larger weapons bays and carry more fuel.[68][71] Others have indicated the J-20 may be a light supersonic bomber.[72]

Commentators outlined six possible roles for the J-20: a long-range interceptor, a long-range air-combat and escort fighter, a theater strike fighter, a long range reconnaissance aircraft, an electronic attack platform, and an anti-satellite weapon launch platform.[73] It has been speculated that early variants could be employed as strike aircraft or interceptors, and that later variants would become more adept in the air superiority role, particularly as more powerful engines become available.[6]

Loren B. Thompson speculated that the combination of forward stealth and long range allows the J-20 to attack surface targets while the United States lacks sufficient airbases in the area to counter such attacks, and that a long-range maritime strike aircraft may cause the United States more concern than a short range air-superiority fighter like the F-22.[74][32] The Pentagon in its 2011 Annual Report to Congress agrees that the J-20 is "a platform capable of long range, penetrating strikes into complex air defense environments."[75]
Technology transfer allegations

In April 2009, a Wall Street Journal report indicated that, according to American government officials, information from the F-35 was compromised by unknown attackers allegedly appeared to originate from China, although the article stated the ease of masking identities.[76] There is some speculation that the compromise of the Lockheed Martin F-35 program may have helped in the development of the J-20.[2][6][73]

Because the aircraft is in development, these specifications are preliminary and are taken as estimates from the available images.

Data from James Dunnigan.[77][78]

General characteristics

   Crew: one (pilot)
   Length: 20.3 m (66 ft 7 in)
   Wingspan: 12.88 m (42 ft 3 in)
   Height: 4.45 m (14 ft 7 in)
   Wing area: 73 m2 (790 sq ft)
   Max takeoff weight: 36,288 kg (80,001 lb) upper estimate[2]


    PL-8 short range AAM
    PL-10 SRAAM
    PL-12 Medium Range AAM
    PL-21 Long Range AAM
    LS-6 Precision-guided bomb


    Type 1475 (KLJ-5) active electronically scanned array
    EOTS-86 electro-optical targeting system
    EORD-31 infrared search and track
    Distributed aperture system
Add a Comment:
Spartan198 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2018
Pfft! Mere cannon fodder for our F-22s.
Nergling Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2018
holaackbar Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2018
The J20 has to use WS10 engines. Lol
Midway2009 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome fighter. :eyepopping:
doctorchen Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018
The engine you drew is wrong , The j20 now uses a Taihang engine
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018  Professional Interface Designer
will mod it later
doctorchen Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018
doctorchen Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018
Already in the service
creationstar Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool.
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