Popular Science’s September-9 article “China’s J-20 stealth fighter may be getting a new engine” that I reblogged on September 12 says that there is recently a new J-20 prototype no. 2021 installed with a new WS-10X engine better stealth with 14-15 ton vector thrust that enables J-20 to conduct supersonic supercruise without using fuel-thirsty afterburners.
According to the article, China is able to make such good aircraft engines as it has made breakthrough in rhenium-nickel superalloy technology. The article says, “Previously, the development of Chinese engines like the WS-10 were delayed as they suffered from quality control issues regarding single crystal turbine blades. China’s mastery of the rhenium superalloy (and by the private sector, no less) won’t just help China build current fighter engines, but also quickly research more capable, higher tech models.”
Why is China able to make such breakthrough so quickly? Global Times says in its article “Experts clarify rumor of changes in aircraft engine cooperation: Cooperation achievements in display” on September 20, “From the manufacturing point of view, China is relatively weak in the technology of making and casting of single crystal alloys, powder metallurgy, etc. In Russian-Ukraine system, those technologies have already been applied for more than one or several decades. They have played a great boosting role in improving China’s aircraft engines.”
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Science and Global Times’ articles, full text of which can respectively been found at http://www.popsci.com/china-stealth-fighter-new-engine and http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-09/11264854_3.html. The latter is in Chinese.
I reblogged Popular Science’s September-9 article “China’s J-20 stealth fighter may be getting a new engine” on September 12. According to the article, there was a new J-20 prototype no. 2021 installed with a new WS-10X engine better stealth with 14-15 ton vector thrust that enables J-20 to conduct supersonic supercruise without using fuel-thirsty afterburners.
On September 20, mil.huanqiu.com published the above photos of the successful test of the new J-20 prototype no. 2021.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Successful test flight of J-20 no. 2021 fighter jet” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Current Lockheed test pilot says China J-20 stealth fighter will outclass US fourth gen fighters and threaten carrier groups as China narrows stealth tech gap
brian wang | September 26, 2016
Nate “Buster” Jaros is a retired USAF fighter pilot with over 2,000 hours in F-16 C/D/CM and T-38A/C aircraft and over 500 hours in General Aviation aircraft. He is currently a Test Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and LO SME with Lockheed Martin Skunkworks.
Nate provides a detailed review of China J-20 stealth fighter.
Several other analysts have said that the J-20 is not a fifth generation fighter.
Nate says China will have a fifth generation fighter, and its development of the J-20 (amongst other fifth gen platforms) is significant.
* the J-20 is also called the Black Eagle
* the J-20 looks kind of like an F-22 Raptor
* It basically is a copy as China stole TERAbytes of F-35 data and they pieced together the basic tenets of stealth technology and apply them to its modern aircraft designs.
* the J-20 is that it is a single seat, twin engine, canard/delta design, stealthy fighter platform. There are just four copies being tested right now, with fully operational fighters predicted to be ready by 2018.
The Black Eagle has two Saturn AL-31 engines producing about 30,000 lbs of thrust each. With the possibility of more powerful Xian WS-15 engines currently in development, those are speculated to produce 44,000 lbs of thrust each. The F-22 has roughly 35,000 lbs of thrust per engine.
New engines will make the J-20 better in a dogfight.
It is predicted that the J-20 will carry four to six long range missiles and possibly two short range heat-seeking missiles as well, all inside internal bays. Very ‘Raptor-like.’ The F-22 carries six long range missiles and two heat-seeking missiles, and air-to-ground options too. The Raptor also has a gun, the J-20 does not…we think.
Researchers speculate that the J-20 will have similar performance and agility as a Raptor, some think it will be a fighter/bomber only. Nate believes the J-20 will be more of a “night one” strike asset, with the ability to quickly penetrate enemy defenses, deliver weapons, and safely retreat. It’s not going to be an overly capable dogfighter.
The Black Eagle will be China’s best plane. It will be able to sneak in and deliver some crippling blows to any nearby adversary.
Armed with capable air-to-air missiles, and pilots trained in LO tactics, it’s enough the outclass any US fourth generation fighter while BVR (Beyond Visual Range) or provide highly capable strike and standoff to China’s leaders.
SOURCE- Fighter Sweep
Source: nextBIGfuture “Current Lockheed test pilot says China J-20 stealth fighter will outclass US fourth gen fighters and threaten carrier groups as China narrows stealth tech gap”
Note: This is nextBIGfuture’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Recently China’s first film about modern air battle “Space, Air Hunt” issues its promotion photos including the above close-up detailed HD photos of China’s stealth fighter jet J-20.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Clearest photos of J-20 shown in promotion of China-made Film” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Global Times says in its report “Official media’s ‘official revelation’ of J-20’s detailed parameters? Military experts: Misreading” today that there has been a recent article in a WeChat account under PLA Daily titled “Leader pilot of fighter jets echelon: J-20 dominates in supersonic combat” that reveals the specifications and performance of China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet:
Wingspan: 12.8 meters
Height: 4.45 meters
Empty weight: 17,000 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 37,000 kg
Engines: two WS-15s
Max. speed: 3062.7 km/hour (Mach 2.5)
Range: 6,000 km
The article quotes Zhang Hao, leader pilot of the fighter jet echelon led by J-20s in the parade, as saying in an interview, “(J-20) not bad subsonic too, but once at supersonic speed, it dominates.”
It says that due to its stealth and high speed and maneuverability, J-20 has won 10 to 0 in lots of drills where it competes with non-stealth fighters.
It seems that the speed Mach 2.5 is true as WS-15 is regarded as the best engines for fighter jets. There has been report that China has developed a new and better material for aircraft engine.
Some Chinese military experts do not believe that the above is China’s official disclosure of J-20’s specifications and performance as such details must be China’s top secret. Even the US that advocates transparency, does not make official disclosure of the details of its top fighter F22.
However, this blogger believes that since China’s J-20 is the best, revealing its great capabilities will be a strong deterrence to those who intend to attack China. China’s enemy may develop better fighter jets to defeat J-20 in the future, but China is also developing a next generation of fighter jet much better than J-20. China must have the self-confidence that it is able to develop the best weapons in the world.
Source: Global Times “Official media’s ‘official revelation’ of J-20’s detailed parameters? Military experts: Misreading” and “Pilot: J-20 especially strong in maneuverability: It dominates in supersonic air combat” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the reports in Chinese)
Net users have taken the above photos of the flight of formation of 5 J-20s as well as a formation of one KJ-2000 AEW&C aircraft followed by six J-10s and a formation of 7 J-10s.
There is speculation such flights are preparation for the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of PLA establishment.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Formation of J-20 appears again in preparations for major activity” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)