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
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.
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.