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I am not entirely convinced that the downplay of the F-117 tech is correct.
Remember that almost everything on the F-117 was radically different.
The paint is the most obvious, but the materials of the internal and external structure were radical as well.
The computersystems were a departure from the ordinary as well
with non radar based targetting and a fly by wire system for an aircraft that had to be coerced into flying.
All in all, I am not convinced that there were no lessons to be learned, particularly since Chinas biggest problems lie in materials and application.
But not exclusive. Better composite materials existed, in 1990, in the civilian market, and a number of specialized paints developed for the industry were not all that different from those used on the F-117 (but focused on a different spectrum or to different temperature tolerances).
A graphing calculator is more sophisticated than the avionics on the F-117. That's a bit hyperbolic, as the key to Fly-By-Wire controls are ultra-fast sampling and response times; a different area of focus than a graphing calculator - but you get the drift. The computer you're using to post on these forums has enough theoretical computing power to fly the entire fleet of F-117s simultaneously (and still offer considerable contributions to your Folding At Home or Seti At Home 'guild.')
They'd learn more from your average PLC.
Really, there's not much they could learn, in that regard, that they didn't know, already. Sensitive electronics would have self-destructed when the pilot ejected. Flying aerodynamically unstable aircraft is unique to each airframe.
The huge problem, though, is that very little of the F-117 is applicable to aircraft like the F-35 or F-22. There would be little to no insight into the construction of such an aircraft present within the F-117. The materials have changed, considerably. The airframe has changed. The avionics have -completely- changed. And the weapons systems are on a completely different level.
Aircraft like the F-18E can be considered a "Generation 4.5" aircraft. The F-117 is more like a "Generation 4B" - a different take on the 4th generation of aircraft design.
It's not about what's better, but what works. China was and is still far behind in materials science, so even a 30 year old technology would be worth studying.
Chrysler Turbine Cars were automobiles powered by gas turbine engines that the Chrysler Corporation assembled in a small plant in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1963, for use in the only consumer test of gas turbine-powered cars. Of the total 55 units built (5 prototypes and 50 "production" cars), most were scrapped at the end of a trial period, with only a handful remaining in museums and private collections. It was the high point of Chrysler's decades-long project to build a practical turbine-powered car.
The car also features a new dual-motor, all-wheel drive system, with a motor in the front and rear of the car. This allows power to quick shift to where there is the most traction, providing "incredible road holding and traction," Musk said. Additionally, the second motor boosts torque by 50 percent, allowing the car to reach 60 miles and hour in less than five seconds.
Could you be a little more condescending
I've only worked with computers my whole life.
The key to understanding radiation hardening is not Wikipedia, but to examine pieces of actual hardware, looking at routing, materials, etc.
Theory is nice, but nothing beats learning from actual hardware.
You can learn much by looking at the physical aspects of an electronics system, how is it organized, how is it routed, dimensions and materials etc.
The fact that they have had access to AL-31 and RD-33 for 20 years and have been unable to design and produce an indigenous copy or derivative should tell you something.
But still something way beyond what China was capable of in the 90's.