Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: Chinese Chengdu J-20 Fighter Still Shrouded in Mystery

 - June 23, 2011, 1:53 AM

Nearly a year after the Sukhoi T-50 made its first flight, another fifth-generation fighter program made its debut, in the form of Chengdu’s J-20. The aircraft was revealed in late December 2010, before making a first flight on January 11 this year.

While seemingly happy to allow the J-20 prototype to be photographed, Chinese authorities have been tight-lipped about the program, and there is little in the way of concrete information. It appears that the aircraft is powered by the indigenously developed WS-10G engine, and it exhibits numerous stealthy features, including long weapon bays.

Whether the January flight was indeed the first flight, or what the exact purpose of the J-20 is, remains unconfirmed. It has been speculated that the aircraft is little more than a technology demonstrator for a subsequent design, and that it may be tailored more for strike and anti-ship operations than air-to-air.

Following its one-off flight in front of high-ranking officials from Beijing in January, the J-20 prototype was not seen for some time. It resurfaced in April and had undertaken 14 further flights by last weekend.

June 2017
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has restructured the MRJ development program and built one of the best teams in the industry.