According to reports by Chinese media, at about 16:00 hours on July 6, 2013, China’s fourth-generation stealth fighter jet J-20 no. 2002 took off again at the aircraft plant in Chengdu for the test flight centre in Xian. This indicated that the work of test flying the J-20 has entered a new stage.
On May 12, last year, prototype no. 2001 flew to the test flight centre for the first time to begin the work of test flight for finalisation of the design. Seven months later, on December 5 last year, prototype no. 2002 flew to the test flight centre for the first time. It returned to Chengdu on January 11, 2013.
Test flight for finalisation of design is also called an appraisal test. It is an overall test to determine whether a new type of aircraft meets the technical indices of the design, and to examine the aircraft’s flight performance and stability. It also tests the feasibility of the various measures adopted in adjusting the test flight in order to determine whether mass production of the aircraft can begin.
Test flight for finalisation of design is a critical stage in deciding whether a new type of aircraft can obtain its “birth certificate.” Generally speaking, there should be five to ten prototypes that undergo the test flight for finalisation of design at the same time. The successive test flights for finalisation of design of prototypes 2001 and 2002 indicate that there will be more prototypes of the J-20 to take part in the tests.
On the afternoon of July 2, J-20 no. 2002 took off twice for one hour test flights, and displayed for the first time its main weapon cabin.
J-20’s side weapon cabin is a one-piece structure. Its door opens upwards. The front ends of the sliding rails popped out so as to bring the head of the missile out of the cabin and then directly ignited the missile for launching. The side weapon cabin of the US military’s F-22 is a two-piece structure. The two doors of the cabin, one opens upwards while the other opens down. That is the greatest difference between Chinese and American stealth fighter jets.
In the interior weapon cabin at the lower part of the belly of the J-20, two short-range air-to-air missiles hang on the launching rails at the internal side of the cabin door, while four medium range air-to-air missiles hang on the multipurpose rack that they share with bombs. The racks at the internal side of the cabin door can also be used to hang medium range air-to-air missiles, but the rail for bombs cannot be used for short-range air-to-air missiles.
The cabin door will open when it is necessary to launch a missile. The short-range missiles are launched directly from the slide rails while the medium range air-to-air missiles have to be thrown out of the cabin like a cruise missile and then be ignited and launched.Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Media: J-20 fighter jet flied to Xian for testing, marking the beginning of finalization of the design” (Excerpts translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee) There are 25 photos of J-20 and F-22 in the report, of which I only post three. Readers who want to see all the photos can visit mil.huanqiu.com website at http://mil.huanqiu.com/mlitaryvision/2013-07/2699444.html
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Categories: Defence & Aerospace