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Maiden flight was in January

The military aviation world is abuzz about stealth technology today. America’s F-35 and the F-22 make use of liberal doses of stealth technology in their designs. The U.S., however, isn’t the only country working hard on stealth aircraft.

The newest stealth fighter to make headlines is the Chinese J-20 fighter. Reuters reports that photos of the J-20 making another flight have surfaced. The photos show the J-20 on the ground and then taking off for only its second flight. 

The photos of the J-20's second flight were posted on the People's Daily website in China with the caption reading, "an alleged J-20 prototype prepares to take off." The Chinese Defense Ministry didn’t comment, but the People's Daily is widely known as a mouthpiece for the Chinese government.

The J-20 had its maiden flight in January 2011. That maiden flight came well ahead of what many analysts expected. The J-20 is reportedly a larger aircraft than the F-22 Raptor leading some to believe it is more focused on air and ground attack roles than air superiority like its U.S. rival. The photos have led some analysts to think that China may be further ahead in the development of the aircraft than initially thought.

There was speculation that the J-20 stealth technology may be have been acquired by the Chinese from an American F-117 that crashed in 1999. That F-117 was lost in Serbia and was the first of the aircraft to get hit by enemy fire. There were reports that Chinese agents were moving all around the part of Serbia where the F-117 crashed buying up parts of the aircraft from local farmers.

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Not really that surprising.
By icemansims on 4/20/2011 12:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
This new arms race with stealth really isn't all THAT surprising. I mean, really. It's all physics of electromagnetic radiation and the geometry of refraction and reflection. Radar absorbent materials aren't THAT new, there are plenty of published papers out there from around the globe on those, couple that with the basic theory of radar (radio wave is emitted, bounces, or reflects, off the target and is picked up by a receiver, with time being directly proportional to distance and blue/red shift being proportional to rate of approach/retreat), and very public pictures of the exterior geometry of the F-35 and the F-22, all I can say is....duh. OF COURSE they can come up with something similar.

RE: Not really that surprising.
By CarbonJoe on 4/20/2011 4:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for the "revelation" that there was some corporate espionage or a security breach on the servers at a defense contractor that gave the Chinese detailed drawings of the F-22/F35.

RE: Not really that surprising.
By Azethoth on 4/22/2011 3:06:34 AM , Rating: 2
Could happen, but the magic is in the absorbent coatings, which they got from the crashed plane. The topology is just a straight forward engineering + computer simulation exercise.

RE: Not really that surprising.
By oirin on 4/21/2011 6:22:12 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Some on this post are reading too much into a conspiracy with overt speculation and cynicism.

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