Print 64 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Apr 28 at 2:23 PM

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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RE: I call BS
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2011 12:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
Still, we don't leave crashed F-117's for farmers to pick at and salvage. No way.

RE: I call BS
By Solandri on 4/20/2011 2:01:17 PM , Rating: 4
We left this one. I remember exactly what you say being debated at the time - why didn't we just bomb the plane on the ground like we normally do?

The pilot ejected due to the plane being wildly out of control after being hit. The brass ass-u-me-d that the plane was unstable in flight and crashed into the ground at high velocity, so delayed getting a recon flight to look at the crash site (all F117 missions are at night). Instead, it glided to a relatively soft landing and survived mostly intact. By the time they saw the "crash" site and realized they needed to bomb it, there were locals crawling all over it scavenging for parts. The Pentagon then decided the risk to human life wasn't worth bombing it.

That said, I agree with you that if the Chinese are using stealth technology, it mostly isn't from the F117. The F117 had some radar-absorptive design and coatings, but most of its reduced radar cross section was due to the faceted design of its surfaces. Basically, Lockheed knew the radar absorption wasn't enough to make it disappear off radars, so concentrated on bouncing radar signals away from the originating radar to achieve stealth. This is in contrast to the B2 and F22 whose low radar cross section is almost entirely due to absorption / non-reflectance (the rest being curved surfaces).

RE: I call BS
By amagriva on 4/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: I call BS
By Master Kenobi on 4/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: I call BS
By e36Jeff on 4/20/2011 7:46:31 PM , Rating: 3
The P-51 had very little presence in the Pacific Theater. it was the P-38 Lightning, F6F Hellcat, and the F4U Corsair that turned the tide in the air war against the Zero. The P-38 could out run, out climb, and out range the zero, the F6F could out run and take a huge beating, and the F4U exceeded the Zero in all respects except slow speed turns, it actually held an 11:1 kill ratio.The P-51's only showed up at the end of the Pacific war to escort bombers into Japan for the handful of bombing raids we did before the war ended.

RE: I call BS
By Solandri on 4/20/2011 8:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'll add that the U.S. attacks on Japan in WWII were a direct response to an attack by Japan on the U.S. itself. The goal was to beat the other side into a bloody pulp until it surrendered.

In Kosovo, NATO got involved not because of an attack on NATO, but in response to genocide being carried out against civilians. The goal there was to reduce civilian deaths. It would have been tremendously hypocritical to enter the conflict under the auspices of humanitarianism, then callously disregard civilian lives by bombing the plane in an effort to protect technology.

RE: I call BS
By ThisSpaceForRent on 4/21/2011 12:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

RE: I call BS
By lwatcdr on 4/25/2011 2:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Please invest in some history books.
1. There where no P51s at Midway.
2. The F4F actually did well in combat with the Zero and was the fighter in use at Midway.
3. The F6F, F4U, P38, and P47 could all out fly the Zero.
4. Even the P40 did okay in combat the the Zero.

The F4F was slower, couldn't out turn or out climb the Zero but it had better armement, could out dive it and could out maneuver it at high speeds. The Zero had very bad handing above 300 MPH so the US P40s used that to their advantage. Add in that the US planes could take a lot of punishment the US used better tactics to over come the Zeros strengths. The F4F managed to have something like a 7:1 kill ratio.
Those that do not learn history on condemned to make up. Oh and the Wildcat was so useful that it was kept in production until 1945.

RE: I call BS
By Divide Overflow on 4/26/2011 2:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
Please learn reading comprehension. He never claimed there were P-51s at Midway.

RE: I call BS
By Master Kenobi on 4/20/2011 6:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
The F-22 incorporates the faceted surfaces as well, just they are done as part of the skin rather than across the aircraft design itself.

RE: I call BS
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2011 7:03:12 PM , Rating: 1
The Pentagon then decided the risk to human life wasn't worth bombing it.

Bad call imo.

RE: I call BS
By Skywalker123 on 4/23/2011 9:40:12 AM , Rating: 2
A bad call was when your mother decided not to have the abortion.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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