Assembly Shop of China’s Homegrown WS-15 Engine for J-20 Stealth Fighter


China’s homegrown powerful WS-15 engine for its most advanced stealth fighter J-20. Mil.huanqiu.com photo

WS-15 assembly factory. Mil.huanqiu.com photo

WS-15 assembly factory. Mil.huanqiu.com photo

Mil.huanqiu.com has a report today on the progress of the development and assembly of China’s homegrown engine for its most advanced stealth fighter J-20, which is said to lack engines powerful enough to achieve its designed advantages. No one in the world is willing to sell such powerful engine so that China has to develop its homegrown powerful engine for J-20.

According to the report, CCTV reporters have recently visited the assembly factory of AECC Shenyang Liming Group Co., Ltd. that develops and assemblies WS-15 Emei turbofan for J-20. There was report that WS-15 is more powerful than all its foreign counterparts, but its details remain China’s top secret.

However, CCTV has been able to take 15 photos of the top secret engine and its assembly factory, three of which are shown on top of this post.

The report only reveals that the internal workings of an aircraft engine (not specifically WS-15) are very complicated being made up of over 10,000 precision parts and that the quality of the assembly as the final step in producing an aircraft engine (not specifically WS-15) to a major extent affects the quality of the engine.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Official media reveals progress of homegrown engine for J-20” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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24 Comments on “Assembly Shop of China’s Homegrown WS-15 Engine for J-20 Stealth Fighter”

  1. Foxhound says:

    @chankaiyee2
    In this article U say :
    … China has to develop its homegrown powerful engine for J-20….AECC Shenyang Liming Group Co., Ltd. that develops and assemblies WS-15 Emei turbofan for J-20…
    meanwhile in the previous article U said

    China can make advanced fighter jets but cannot equip them with advanced Chinese or imported aircraft engines…..
    I took a look in other websites, I don’t know if they are correct, they all cllaim that all J-11 B/C/D are equipped with indeginous chinese engines WS-10.

    Is there a discrepancy ?

    Like

  2. Steve says:

    The amount $250 million invested with the Ukrainian PJSC Motor Sich is only a small outlay for China’s standards, when compared to billions being poured into Chinese indigenous aviation jet engine research. As reported, this Emei WS15 is more powerful than any foreign vector engines. This should include Ukrainian vector jet engines of the same class.

    Clearly, China’s $250 million R & D with Ukraine is to further advance the WS15 vector engines,
    probably a different configuration. Ukraine do not possess such sophisticated jet engines as the Emei WS15, hence the ‘meagre’ investment of $250 million. Come to think of it, it’s groundnuts that China is throwing over the boundary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Simon says:

    No one in the world is willing to sell to China such powerful engine because no one in the world is capable of making such powerful engine.
    Naturally the most powerful and most capable stealth fighter in the world demands the best engine in the world andthey are made in China.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joseph says:

    This article is a good one. Obviously there’s no one in the world is willing to sell China engine as powerful as WS-15. Because there’s none. The theoretical engine thought to be as powerful as WS-15 was the one developed for F-35. We all know how a colossal failure that engine was that the F-35 is forced to be fitted by F-16 engine, some with Rolls Royce engines for European customers to reduce noise signature. It still gives the F-35 the radar signature of a jumbo jet since the engine has to work overdrive to support the overweight frame of F-35. While the J-20 still uses Russian AL-31 and WS-10 engines, at least it does not have the radar signature of a jumbo jet. Western media often boasted that China was ‘desperate’ to obtain the newer AL-117 engine because of the failure to develop engine as powerful as WS15. But the truth is, while the AL-117 is more efficient than AL-31, the power boost is not that significant, otherwise the Su-35 would be a super fighter jet, not just a merely ‘more’ advanced fighter jets. The AL-117 design, however, may be useful to improve the efficiency of the successfully developed WS-15 as it’s base design is derived from AL-31 family. I am not surprised if Western media would start to discredit the WS-15 to have been somehow ‘developed’ from the lesser Ukraine-built AL-222 trainer jet engine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Red Flag says:

      The F110 engine was NEVER fitted to a F35 so your information is wrong. And the Chinese made WS-15 engine CONTINUES to face a multitude of problems including shedding turbine blades, flame outs, and reliability issues. Chinese engines still cannot make the cut.

      Like

      • word says:

        >face a multitude of problems including shedding turbine blades, flame outs, and reliability issues.

        Show us your proof. Otherwise you are lying.

        Like

        • Red Flag says:

          So explain this: “The expert, Wang Qun, made his remarks after a Russian news website accused the WS-10A Taihang engine of being a copy of Russia’s AL-31F. According to the report, China tried to raise the engine’s operating temperature to 50 degrees Celsius, but due to its inability to produce complex single-crystal blades, the engine could explode at any time during flight.”
          And this concerns a less advanced Chinese engine . And there is this:
          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-military-engines-idUSKCN0V7083
          And this is why you have China resorting to doing this:
          http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/10/news/us-china-military-jet-engine-espionage/

          So now its on YOU to provide the information that the Chinese WS-50 is a world class engine that rivals the latest engines of the west. Can you do it?

          Like

          • Steve says:

            It’s old outdated news. The Emei WS15 has already made significant breakthroughs. It’s not for the aviation experts to elaborate what are the major discoveries. The good thing is China pouring billions of $$$ for R & D instead of buying and reverse engineering. It’s not a question of ‘Can you do it.’ It’s childishly immature.

            China is also leading and benefitting the world in many other facets of engineering, infrastructures, computing, satellites, medicines and so forth. China has broken thru the bottleneck to mass produce soon for it’s WS15 vector engine, as you are aware its no easy feat coming from behind compared to Russia, US, UK … It’s easier to engineer engines like heavy cargo planes Y20 which the Chinese has already produced, as well as the WS10A Taihang engines (J10s & J11s) and soon the WS13 for J31.

            The most wonderful thing is that China is rising up to the challenge economically, politically militarily and in All facets of science, education, research and reformation.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tyler Reber says:

            The US published plenty of research articles about single crystal blades over the decades during around 1970. Most other countries seemed to have been able to learn of those publications and obtain that production capability by 1985, catching up to the US. From what I’ve read China neglected the development of single crystal blades during development of the WS-10A, opting for an older DS technology which was still solely in those engines by 2005.

            Supposedly taking 5-7 years for other countries to copy US tech, One would think China shouldn’t be far off from having that technology assuming they started developing it.

            Supposedly in a 2010 report by the washington post, the WS-10 worked around 30 hours before it crapped out vs the 400 hour refurbishment of Saturn AL-31 engines. But apparently an interview with a Mr. Dong at the 2014 Zhuhai airshow, revealed that the engine is fully operational and has matured now and that the life span is 1500 hours with 300 hour service cycles.

            As far as single crystal blades go, it would be highly unusual if China has more than a decade of failure in producing that specific technology. Although study I read(From Ukraine??) concluded more tests need to be done to learn more about it, which is to say that technology is not yet mastered.

            As for WS-15, its a nice looking engine with what seems to be a well organized factory.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Foxhound says:

              Supposedly in a 2010 report by the washington post
              Washington Post, New York times, the Diplomat, Mr Fisher etc…Do not listen them. U can find tons of publications, but no one has an once of credibility. The only think U can read in western medias is a political oriented opinion -not facts- on chinese industry, in order to debunk them, as it was during the cold war against USSR. For example we were hyped against Soviet Union’s technologies, and they used to claim that USSR lag far behind US regarding radars. And soviets spies rush in America in order to loot the US western technologies in the goal to catch up their late. Finally -just a small example- US spied and stole the secrets of Mig-29, and Mig-31 radars, thanks to treason of Tolkachev. After 1991, westerners discovered that the Mig-31’s radar is the first phase array radar, and was far ahead of western technologies. US took twenty years to equip their air planes with such radar.

              Regarding to the chinese technologies, only chineses origin experts like for example chankaiyee2 know enough about China.
              Chinese environnement is impossible to understand for us -non chineses-. China is 1.5 billions persons, it is a world, to much complex for us.

              … the WS-10 worked around 30 hours before it crapped out vs the 400 hour refurbishment of…
              The little what I know about this engine, now the totality of the strategic fleet of J-11 B-C-D, J-15, J-16 are all equipped with WS-10 variants. If the WS-10 was not enough reliable do U think it could be equip the fleets of J-11 ?
              The articles of any western newspapers -including Janes – are only a lost of times.

              Here is another article about the WS-15 :
              http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-03/13/content_7524017.htm

              Like

              • Tyler Reber says:

                Yeah well that’s fine. I crudely mentioned sources so others could take it with a grain of salt if they wanted. Other than that, I don’t care which parts of my post you believe.

                Like

          • Joseph says:

            Reuters, eh? CNN, eh? Right. Since when these junk media get access to Chinese research. You better ask Duterte, or Jokowi, or any other ASEAN leaders. Did they say whatever Reuters or CNN wrote they supposedly said? I am sure Wang Qun is equally confused if he ever said anything to Reuters. Try to get your source from honest unbiased media, please. Oops, that’s hard in the fake news-ridden West.

            Like

          • Joseph says:

            Why would we need to provide information that the WS-15 (or WS-50?) has the rival in the latest engine in the West? There is none. The American failed to develop its latest engine for F-35. That is common news, which means that the WS-15 engine has no rival in the West. Whatever fantasy the people in the West like to believe is their problem. The WS-15 engine is mass-produced anyway. The question should be, can you provide information about the latest engine of the West that can rival the WS-15? Let me guess, classified?

            Like

      • Joseph says:

        So please enlighten me with your not wrong information about the engine fitted on F-35? The F-110 engine is not only very similar to F-135, it was fitted to F-16 as a test bed, which indicates that F-110 and F-135 have an exact match engine mounting and housing. But we know that F-35’s intended engine is failed to be developed causing severe setbacks. Suddenly, the F-35s were launched with ‘alternative’ engines. While the huge radar signature was still debated, the horrendous fuel consumption is never in doubt. Its first Atlantic crossing required a record seven times refueling, while indicated an engine supporting overweight aircraft. Taking into equation of the weight ratio of F-16 and F-35, it matches the profile of the F-16 engine on extra weight. I wonder what’s the life expectancy of the engine, must be very short. Furthermore, as it is not actually the practice of American aeronautical industry to collaborate, I doubt the F-35 would use other engine other than the junk F-16’s F-110.

        Like

        • Red Flag says:

          It has to do with airflow to the engine. You cannot just pick up any old engine and stick it in an aircraft and expect it to work. And then there is this:

          When can we expect to see the J-20 in a Chinese version of the Mach Loop?

          Like

          • Joseph says:

            Ah, so the F-16′ F-110 engine IS really an old engine unsuitable for new aircraft. But the American said they modernized the engine to suit current standard. No wonder that Indonesia’s new F-16 Block 15 crashed upon just delivery. Warranty not included some more. Those F-35 are lucky not to suffer similar fate. They must be fitted with Rolls-Royce engines, or perhaps they still under warranty? 6 months?

            Like

      • Joseph says:

        Although the WSS-15 engine ‘CONTINUES to face a multitude of problems including shedding turbine blades, flame outs, and reliability issues’, it is being mass-produced. Logically, who is going to mass-produce faulty engines? An operational engine failure of aircraft would receive negative coverage. A serial failure of engines would be embarrassing. Who would risk it? Western media is actively seeking operational failure of Chinese aircrafts to mock. So far all they get is the single on-land crash of J-15 that was not even in the aircraft carrier Liaoning. That’s a record that even the ‘safe’ US navy does not have. It indicates that Chinese navy is being very careful and very discipline. Would they let unsafe engines to tarnish their pride? In America it may only be corporate inquiry that only result in compensation no matter how many dies. In China it is more harsh than mere inquiry and compensation. Some people must face firing squads, just as in 2008 tainted milk scandal and in 2012 faulty railway steel scandal that cause the first accident of Chinese high-speed train. And those executed might be not known in America, in China they were high profile officials and corporate CEOs.

        Like

        • Red Flag says:

          “..So far all they get is the single on-land crash of J-15 that was not even in the aircraft carrier Liaoning. That’s a record that even the ‘safe’ US navy does not have”

          The US Navy has ALWAYS trained hard under realistic conditions. If you are not crashing on deck you are not pushing the envelope. Look at the picture below. The PLAN is still afraid to conduct flight operations of their J-15s at night off of their carrier. The PLAN has no confidence in their aircraft or pilot training. When the PLAN decides to come out of hiding and conducts flight operations at night or in bad weather then you can talk!

          https://theaviationist.com/2014/01/25/a6-landing-carrier-snow/

          Like

          • Joseph says:

            Does it mean that US navy pushes their personnels to the death to show off? Talking about respecting the value of life. But in America the life of people is always measure in compensation anyway. It is always better to ditch faulty equipment along with their operators. More cost effective in the insurance point of view, they can write off troublesome equipment, at the same time they can get ride their incompetent personnels, like that token first female pilot of F-14. So the PLA have not conducted night off carrier, so what? It just conform that they value their personnel’s life than the American. When they feel they can conduct it safely, they will. What’s the hurry? Why would they push yet-untrained personnels only to show off? Only the American ‘pushed’ their clumsy personnels to their deaths. Wasn’t it better to train them until they were really ready?

            Like

            • Red Flag says:

              “So the PLA have not conducted night off carrier, so what?”
              The answer is that they still aren’t good enough. But remember: You fight like you train. The Chinese always are boasting that they are as good as the Americans. The simple answer is that they are not. If push comes to shove in the South China Sea, the USN will have some painful lessons to teach the PLAN.

              Like

              • chankaiyee2 says:

                Please tell me when China is boasting that. Mao perhaps boasted that but he really defeated US in Korea. No Chinese leaders or PLA leaders have boasted that since Mao!

                Certainly China’s aircraft carrier is not good enough but China’s air bases on artificial islands are quite enough to teach US a painful lesson just like China did in Korea. The US simply dare not figh a war with China in the South China Sea as China has geographical advantages there. That was why USN dare not impose Hague arbitration ruling with its two aircraft carrier battle groups when China showed its resolution to fight a war to defend its sovereignty there.

                Timing is not as good as geographical advantages; geographical advantages are not as good as popular support. –Mencius

                The US lost wars in Korea, Vietnam, etc. because it had no popular support inspite of its most advanced powerful weapons.

                You certainly support US war with China, but that is not popular support. The US has no popular support even in sending its army to fight ISIS.

                Like

                • Tyler Reber says:

                  I think he was referring to regular Chinese citizen flexing their patriotism, such in a manner as Red Flag would boast his American patriotism by refuting the silly notion that someone else could possibly be as good as the righteous Americans who have been endowed by God with the lords will. (I figured he’s a republican.)

                  I do recall a few years ago the Chinese government saying something like ‘It will take 50 years to match the US.’ But I have doubts it will take that long because the American defense industry has weaseled its roots deeper into politics which means one thing. Defense will become more about money racket and less about being competitive with other nations. Corporation will be free to do what they’ve been doing since the civil war and satisfy contracts with the cheapest possible product at the highest possible price, only with political protection from being tried for fraud. Maybe that is wrong, Anti fraud laws are collecting back more money from corporations each year because they were found guilty of fraud after do-good Americans ratted out their company through the proper channels at great risk to themselves.

                  Like

              • Joseph says:

                Great. How about instead of talking, you join up that famed USN of yours and face us on the SCS? That if the USN does not ‘pushed’ you to your death first in their hard realistic condition. After all, you pass if you do not die on your on-deck crash, right?

                Like