Chengdu J-20 is a traditional Chinese is a single seat, twin jet and all-weather Stealth jet fighter of Fifth Generation fighter jets. This fighter jet was developed by China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation to serve in the PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force).
This aircraft’s design descended from the J-XX aircraft’s design from the early 1990s. The J-20 was designed to be an Air Superiority fighter jet with precision striking ability.
The first prototype of this aircraft was ready by the end of 2010 and it underwent high-speed taxiing tests at the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute. Many notable changes were made in the aircraft’s design like a new low-observable intake and stealth coating along with redesigning of the stabilizers.
The very first J-20 made its first flight back on 11th January 2011. The aircraft was officially unveiled for the world at the 20016’s China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. After this unveiling, the aircraft was included in military service in 2017 and the combat training phase starting in September. The induction of the combat units started in February of 2018.
J-20 has the honors of being the world third Operational Fifth Generation stealth fighter jet along with being the first one of its kind in Asia.
For our readers today we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle; China’s Supersonic Stealth Fighter Jet, which are as follows.
One of the main futures of the J-20 is its Internal Bomb Bay. This feature makes the J-20 to be the exceptionally dangerous aircraft for the conventional ground forces and ground based fire control. The main weapons bay is able to hold both of the short range and long range air-to-air missiles.
As for the small lateral weapons bay it can open and close before and after firing its missiles to enhance its stealth feature. These two small lateral weapons bay hold the short-range air-to-air missiles.
Biggest fighting capability:-
One of the main fighting capabilities of the J-20 is its threat to approach and attack the naval assets of the enemy. The internal weapons bay of the aircraft remains retracted until the aircraft is ready to strike its air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles.
One of the main abilities of this aircraft is to strike the naval assets and make a return back to the base before the enemy’s naval ships deploy any countermeasures against the aircraft’s strikes.
Increased fuel capacity:-the J-20 has more fuel capacity as compared to the F-35. It is able to complete its mission and make a return back from its mission flight longer than F-35 without a need for mid-flight refueling.
China got innovation from USAF’s Lockheed Martin F117A Nighthawk:-
According to alleged reports, a USAF’s Lockheed Martin F117A Nighthawk was shot down over the Serbian airspace in the Kosovo conflict. The pilot of the aircraft managed to eject safely from the aircraft. However, both Russian and Chinese intelligence pillaged through the wreckage of this aircraft to discover as to what makes the F-117A to evade most of the radar technologies.
According to the sources, both China and Russia were able to gather key information from this crashed F-117A and were able to develop their own Fifth generation Multirole stealth fighters. While China developed Chengdu J-20 Russia developed their PAK FAT-50.
Comparison of J-20 vs. F-22
In terms of comparison, there are many similarities in the design of the Chengdu J-20 VS USAF’s F-22 Raptor. Some of these similarities are as follows.
- Location of the engines
- The stealth design which reduces sharp or obtuse angles
- AESA (Actively Electronically Scanned Array) Radar located in the nose section of the aircraft
The only feature which makes the J-20 superior to F-22 and even some aspects to F-35 is its long-range during missions and its internal and external weapons bay with the retractable feature. Chengdu J-20 holds more flight capacity and weapons bay armament than any of the other US fighter jets.
When it comes to the engines, here it is when both similarities start and end between J-20 and the US F-35 aircraft.
The Chinese in their initial designs made the necessity for installing the upcoming WS-15 jet turbine engine. However, the current J-20 moles are running on the Russian made Saturn AL-31F engines which are presently used by the Russian “Su-27 Flanker”.
The Saturn engine may be of the older generation but it is able to deliver some pretty amazing aerodynamic features for any fighter jet. According to sources, most ft he J-20 prototype models currently rely on either Shenyang WS-10G afterburning turbofans or Russian-made AL-31F turbofans.
After being equipped with the Russian made Saturn Al-31F engines, they are able to produce a dry thrust of almost 17,125 lb/ft each or 27,500 with afterburner.
Frameless Canopy inspired by F-22 Raptor:-
Like many of its resemblances like the long and wide fuselage and a chiseled nose section, J-20 also has the frameless canopy which is similar to the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Right behind the cockpit are the low observable intakes. Behind the Intake Ramps are located an all moving canard surface with a pronounced dihedral. This intake ramp is them followed by an extension which merges into the delta wing with forward swept trailing edges.
DSI (diverterless supersonic inlet):-
The aircraft is able to reach the speed of Mach 2.0 with DSI (diverterless supersonic inlet). This also allows the aircraft to have improved stealth performance by eliminating any radar reflections present in-between the diverter and the aircraft’s skin. According to aviation experts, this DSI also reduces the need for any other application of the radar absorbent materials.
To conclude the discussion about the Chengdu J-20, this aircraft is amongst the only here working models f the Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter Jets. They are easily able to match the fighting capability and then some more as compared to the USAF’s F-22 and F-35 fighter jets. Their multiple weapons bay allow them to be the best Air Force arsenal for Chinese Air Force to strike the enemy naval vessels with precision strikes while maintaining long-range stealth. While there might be alleged rumors of China stealing many sources form the USAF’s shot down Nighthawk but all in all, this aircraft is the result of ingenious minds of the Chinese aerospace engineers to maintain the Chinese air superiority in at least the continent of Asia.