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on Nov 11, 2014

This aircraft design definitely shows just how much the Chinese stole from the American defense industry. We do all the work and they build a copy.

on Nov 11, 2014

Why always the assumption that it's somehow a copy? Do they have an F-22 or F-35 to reverse engineer the secrets? No. Did US aero technology benefit from all the work in aeronautics and rocketry work done by German scientists? Yes.

on Nov 19, 2014

Agreed! Plus we spend more on military than the world combined so we better make a better product otherwise we would be stupid. Maybe if China had a trillion dollars for one fighter they could make something similar to an F-35; drop the ego everybody.

on Nov 19, 2014

Agreed! Plus we spend more on military than the world combined so we better make a better product otherwise we would be stupid. Maybe if China had a trillion dollars for one fighter they could make something similar to an F-35; drop the ego everybody.

on Nov 11, 2014

I don't know about that but it looks more Russian to me.

on Nov 12, 2014

Russian? Seriously? Compare the planform of this airplane to an F-35. It's obviously got 2 engines (duh) but look at the forward fuselage and wings and horizontal tails.

on May 6, 2015

We should give them the F-35 as a known tool for bankrupting a country while getting a questionable--at best--product. Oh, give them LM top management and a certain AF General too, as a bonus.

on Nov 11, 2014

Love that "Stealthy" Smoke. I wonder how long that took to develop. Looks like the J79s of an F4 Phantom.

They may not have had the actual F22 or F35, but they have been working like crazy to get as much data as possible and from what one hears, they have been pretty successful in penetrating the defense industry contractors involved with those programs.

on Nov 21, 2014

That is probably иzд.88 сер.2С but in general изд.88 iс very capable engine:the last series are close to 4000 hours service life,thrust around 20% up, no-smoke ОГК ,+- 30 degree vserakursnoe soplo.....изд.88 сер 3 ...

on Nov 11, 2014

That strange smoke, very intense, doesn't seem to come from the engines. In the other three pictures the engines are absolutely clean.

on Aug 29, 2016

I am just guessing here but to see so much black smoke on what looks like a take off run and then having really clean exhaust in the other 3 photos, this plane is likely using water injection (WI).

WI has been used since the early days of piston and jet engines. For the former, to cool down engine while in the latter case of jets, to reduce flame temperature to help out turbines that cannot withstand full power exhaust temp. A visible side-effect is black smoke due to the cooler flame - resulting in a lot of unburned hydrocarbon!

A secondary benefit (ref: early military transport & tanker planes) is to increase thrust by adding engine mass flow during TO and for short critical periods with minimal design change. It's like having a 2nd shift gear box whereby afterburner is 1st and 3rd is normal jet - an in between power level capability with little engineering or weight penalty that is not as gas guzzling as an AB. This might be an important feature for an air force that does not have an extensive in flight refueling support system - every pound of fuel not used by AB for TO means longer flight time/range.

For those interested in the basic equation, Thrust or Force = mass x acceleration (ma), can be rewritten as: F = mass/sec * jet_velocity (i.e. mdot * v_jet).
To increase thrust, we can either increase jet velocity or the mass flow rate. Water injected into the compressor will cool and increase the engine mass flow rate.

BTW, this equation is similarly applied in turbo fan engines but for a different reason. Increasing mdot in the bypass air stream means not having to increase v_jet. So, we get improved thrust without increasing overall v_jet; thus, we get quieter jet engines with good thrust even at low speed run such as TO. (Note: jet noise power generated is proportional to v_jet ^3)

For WI, even though carrying water might increase TOW, the penalty is compensated by increased thrust and/or reduced fuel consumption - while protecting the engine if one does not have advanced metallurgy or state of the art turbines to handle the temperatures needed to achieve the needed thrust - likely an issue with less advanced engine manufacturers such as the one described in this article.

In short, WI might be used here as a work around for TO and climb out until engine turbine design & metallurgy issues can be resolved. Only a few hundred pounds of water would be needed and the engineering needed should also be minimal. So, if my guess is correct, the designers are applying an old but pretty good, pragmatic solution to solve a real problem - Improved Flight Range Without In Flight Refueling.

on Nov 11, 2014

Lol...straight up copy cats.

But....

It's got one thing a lot of us wished the F-35 had: a second engine.

on Nov 12, 2014

kellmark is spot on. The Chinese haven't mastered what we finally did with F-4 at the end of its service....how many years ago? All stealth with full thrust smoke. Works for me. We loved it when an F-4 flew a missile profile...didn't need radar to find it.

on Nov 18, 2014

I could see F-4's 50 miles away from the boom pod, arching up from low level, radio silent...they'd come up to us in racetrack orbits over Cambodia in flights of four. After a few minutes there would be 20-plus F-4's spewing soot that combined with ours (J57's). I'm certain we created our own black cloud. Then they were gone.

on Nov 12, 2014

America's outsourced manufacturing dollars at work.... Let's hope the cheap electronics and play toys were worth it.

Cocidius (not verified)
on Nov 14, 2014

Beyond the front profile of the aircraft comparisons to the F-35 break down.

The large tails are designed for turning and burning and could pass for small versions of those found on the F-22.

The belly is smooth which will help in reducing the overall RCS vs. the warts and blisters found on the F-35.

Two engines and a double nose wheel make it obvious that this fighter will fly from a carrier at some point in the future.

While there are valid reasons to say that Shenyang has copied features from the F-35 it would be easy to overlook how novel and unique this airplane is coming out of a company best known for building Flanker knockoffs.

on Nov 15, 2014

The PRC cyber attacks certainly gave this bird's designers a mountain of knowledge at least equal to what was gained from the Luftwaffe and its civilian support following WW2. And the attacks are still going on. To claim the PRC had no aid in this as well as many other areas is at best disingenuous. At best . . .

on Nov 17, 2014

No doubt China, like Japan in the past, did plenty of copy and pasting, but it's now wealthy and well educated enough to have its own R&D and its own indigenous capabilities. Many Japanese studied in the US in the 1920s and '30s before WWII, and certainly many of tens of thousands of Chinese studied in the US and other western countries. They can certainly design their own stuff and we shoujld start copying more from them, and maybe sending our kids to their schools which by now are probably as good and cheaper.

on Nov 17, 2014

Once for all, you folks better recognize the fact that classified work at secret level and above are performed in approved room with no internet,fax or unscrambled phone. Cyber theft at best obtained confidential, proprietary business data. Story board power point chart are no differential equations, at best they confirm concept validity and program milestone progress.

DDD
on Nov 22, 2014

How many of you think that the F-22 and F-35 could still beat it.

on Nov 28, 2014

As long any fighter got the tail aft configuration it will be called a copy.

on Nov 28, 2014

To all those shouting "Copy!"
"The devil is in the details."
Yes, you can steal general aerodynamic ideas but the work is in the details, the packaging, the electronics, the materials in the engine and the manufacturing.
It looks similar because form follows function.

on Apr 12, 2016

Looks like what the F-35 would have looked like had it been developed as a twin engine jet.
If the electronics do not match the apparent "Look" of the FC-31, Then, at a distance, I think the f-22 for sure, and the f-35, maybe, would take out more than one FC-31. In close air combat the F-35 is a brick compared to any dedicated, one purpose, fighter!! The F-22 is capable, and can beat the pants off an F-15, but will not take the "Hits" an F-15 could take. So shrapnel and ground fire are a big problem for the F-22.
P.S., we have less than 150 F-22's. They had better be indestructible, because they are definitely NOT replaceable !!!

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