China's FC-31 fighter jet shows major upgrades at Paris Air

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Corsair1963

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Unread post24 Jun 2019, 04:22

China's FC-31 fighter shows major upgrades at Paris Air Show

China's fifth-generation stealth fighter jet FC-31 showcased its latest upgrades at the ongoing Paris Air Show, and analysts noted on Wednesday that the displayed model shows noteworthy changes in design that could significantly improve its capabilities.

A scaled model of the FC-31 is being displayed by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) at the company's stand at the 53rd Paris Air Show, which is scheduled to run from Monday to Sunday.

Chinese military observers and media said the model on display appears to have undergone many changes compared to the aircraft's past designs.

The area behind the cockpit and the areas where the two engines are housed are now bulkier, Weihutang, a military column affiliated with China Central Television, reported on Wednesday.

The optimized aerodynamic design further reduces wind resistance, the report said.

Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Wednesday that these changes could mean the aircraft has been made more agile and is capable of carrying more fuel, which will give it a larger operational range.

It might also carry additional electronic devices for communication or satellite links, Wang said.

The upgraded FC-31 might even feature a pair of new engines, reported Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on the national defense industry.

The nozzles of the engines on the FC-31 model displayed in Paris are very different in structure and shape than the ones previously used, the periodical said, noting that this means the warplane will become more competitive on the international market, giving it a better chance of joining the People's Liberation Army if it gets new and more powerful engines.

Wang said that the warplane will continue to boost its capabilities.

For countries looking to buy an advanced stealth fighter jet, the FC-31 is similar to the US F-35 but much cheaper, and China does not attach political conditions to arms sales as the US does, Wang said.


http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/11548 ... R2hu0297ug

fc31.jpg
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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Jun 2019, 12:56

The problem here is that I could build a model and bring it to the Paris Air Show. They may make a go of it with this, but its far from being an F-35 killer (and that's how it'll be positioned for export). It's the same old story with the Chinese: The engines aren't ready.

They are still an order of magnitude behind our best jet engine designs, and it's no small amount. And unless they can steal more info via espionage, it's going to stay that way. The Russian engines on the SU-35 will certainly help, but they can't use that engine for all aircraft, including I think this F/C-31.

It's interesting, but still a long, long way toward being a combat capable/ready for sale production bird. For the record, I do NOT think it'll mature into something that'll rival the F-35. But it will ultimately fall short. There are just too many "game changers" in the F-35's favor, and its tentacles grow every day around the globe. The recent Dutch 9,000km flight/bombing for example. It's rolling off production lines today, and it'll only get better as the years go by.
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Jun 2019, 13:45

"It'll be 20 years before anybody else has a stealth fighter." -Bob Gates
"There I was. . ."
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Jun 2019, 00:26

My guess is the model at the Paris Airshow is the definitive production version of the J-31. Which, will enter production over the next few years. Yet, I wouldn't expect to see it in any real numbers before the late 2020's or early 2030's.


Nor, do I see it matching the F-22 and/or F-35. Yet, the real question is how close can China come???
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Unread post25 Jun 2019, 18:31

The Paris Air Show model looks less refined than the flying prototype.
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Unread post25 Jun 2019, 19:21

The model from Zhuhai 2014 was more detailed than this one.

http://m.aviationweek.com/site-files/av ... uahi_1.JPG

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