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China’s J-31 Stealth Aircraft Takes Flight

Posted By admin On November 1, 2012 @ 6:52 am In World News | Comments Disabled

J. Michael Cole
The Diplomat [1]
November 1, 2012

Well, the Chinese aviation industry sure isn’t wasting any time: From the firstglimpse [2] of the tarp-covered fuselage being hauled in the first official picturesreleased [3] by Shenyang Aircraft Corp (SAC) in September, China’s second fifth-generation stealth aircraft, the J-31, has now taken its maiden flight.

While defense analysts have been busy fretting over Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corp’s (CAC) J-20, first unveiled [4] in January 2011, it looks like SAC was not dwindling its thumbs but instead was hard at work developing a second low-signature aircraft. Since the unveiling in September, defense watchers had been holding their breath in anticipation of what would come next.

SAC didn’t make them wait for long, with in-flight images of the J-31, which previously had been designated J-21, popping up on defense Internet sites on October 31. Bearing the tail designation “31001,” the aircraft, accompanied by two Shenyang J-11Bs, reportedly [5] conducted a high-speed taxi run, followed by a 10-minute flight with its landing gear in the lowered position.

There is still speculation as to whether the J-31 is intended to be a competitor to the J-20, or a complement to its larger cousin. The one prototype seen so far is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft like the J-20 and the Lockheed F-35A [6].

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] The Diplomat: http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/10/31/chinas-j-31-stealth-aircraft-takes-flight/

[2] glimpse: http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/08/06/china-developing-a-2nd-stealth-fighter/

[3] released: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2012/09/17/2003542952

[4] unveiled: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704428004576075042571461586.html

[5] reportedly: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pictures-new-chinese-fighter-conducts-maiden-flight-378353/

[6] F-35A: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/f35/f-35a-ctol-variant.html

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