Originally posted by tommyjo
According to the Chinese forums it was all systems go for the test flight yesterday. They noted that the chase aircraft Aircrew were lining up around
their aircraft. A J-10 and K-8 were noted as being the chase aircraft.
Yes but again, all that is hearsay, as we have no official confirmation of:
(1) The flight was sched to happen (And we wouldn't expect a notification when it does).
Infact I would only expect a postevent release of footage and not a live telecast (a la Shenzhou 5 launch and re-entry). Interestingly, I wonder how
'lax' the security personnel would be in controlling capture and dissemination of footage taken during a live flight.
(2) Whether it was actually cancelled due weather or other reasons. (if it was ever meant to fly in the first place)
(3) The K-8 or the J-10 being regarded as chase planes. Just because footage reveals their proximity to the prototype and/or because of activity
around them seems to be occurring at the same time the prototype was being tended to.
Here's why this is intriguing: I do not recollect taxi footage of the F-22 released prior to first flight, and nor do I recollect the same for the
F-117 or the B-2 ( The B-2 maybe an irrelevant example because it was perhaps intended to be operationalized under wraps before lthe world knowing
Correct me on these counts if I'm wrong, mi americanos
I know for sure that the T-50 was not displayed pre first flight. IIRC, first public footage of the a/c was released as a part of the first flight
montage, and AFTER the first flight. Any pre flight footage that was released subsequently (factory floor and assembly shots), was just that: a bunch
of releases after the fact.
Now showing pre-first flight pictures was bound to create immense anticipation for the first flight, esp. amongst Chinese aircraft enthusiasts and
patriotic adolescents. Might I dare say, even trigger an exodus of the same from all over the country to Chengdu, with their gadgets, hoping to get a
clip & shot or two of their pride in flight.
Common sense dictates that this would be exponentially more difficult to contain in terms of both securing the area and securing the internet release
of anything that got by.
Now this becomes all the more sensitive, since it is the first flight, and anything untoward/unplanned caught on camera could and by all probability
try to get out into the unstoppable web. And that would be the end of it. The mockery would know no bounds.. both professional and childish in
So one stops to think: considering all of the above, it would be unwise to show this aircraft off before its first flight. Its just too risky.. and
the Chinese (CPP) are not known for taking risks (Again Shenzhou being a prime example).
(1) The Chinese are extremely confident of either their ability to conduct a visibly flawless first flight and/or their ability to control release of
footage of the same. This seems highly risky in booth accounts and I would be surprised if this is the case. A raw way to prove this right would be to
release videos of a first flight within this fortnight at the most. Weather cannot be the cause for delay that long if a flight was indeed intended
and it cannot be delayed more than that as first flights are the crucial stepping stones for continuing the development of the aircraft along a result
based recursive approach, while other preplanned development continues. As such, if initially intended, its not efficient to delay first flight for
(2)This aircraft has already flown in secret. Again this is not entirely improbable, and an indication of this would also be released footage of first
flight within a fortnight. I would in fact lean toward this scenario more than (1) above, if indeed we see a first flight in the coming days.
(3)The Conspiracy Theory: Yes ATS, I'm playing the conspiarcy angle here as well
Maybe the aircraft was never intended for an imminent first flight around now. Maybe the release was planned just in time to : mock Mr Gates
statements on 'China being a decade or two away from fielding effective numbers of operational 5th gen aircraft, put the India-Russia FGFA
partenership in perspective' etc etc.. amongst other strategic reasons.
Maybe they need to work out the details of the engine.. WS-10a or AL-31F or WS-10x or whatever.. Its very obvious that the Russians will not provide
any help with the 117S unless the Chinese have already got their hands on that. And any siphoned info on the F-35 will be grossly under-powering for
an a/c of this size.
Dare I say, much to the chagrin of many respected on this forum
, that the nose and the inlet chines seem very very F-35 esque?
Anyways... (3) goes out of the window if we see flight footage within a fortnight.
As such I am very eager to see footage of the full thrust taxi tests and the nose up tests as well. They serve as indicators on whether the aircraft
is suitable for flight or not as yet. I saw a poor picture of a nose up and a a inconclusive short clip of the a/c deploying the drogue chute and
seemingly low ground speeds (and as such inconclusive IMO).
First flights can be months after taxi tests or days after even. Depends on the test plan and the designers' confidence.
The weather forecast for yesterday was visibility down to 2 miles with haze/fog/smog. You can see poor visibility from the images on the 7th. Chinese
enthusiasts also noted that a J-11 fighter (Su-27 Flanker) was up to keep the airspace clear during the airspace closure.
I have met reports of favorable conditions for the 7th (or maybe it was the 6th)??
Anyways.. its all hearsay now.. Lets wait to see if we see a flight in the coming days or not.
On a related note, I also read somewhere that an editor of a Hong Kong based Military weekly had said that he was informed by Military officials that
a flight was scheduled for Thursday. I think that is the only form of indirect recognition I have seem from the Chinese establishment that this even
On a separate note,
No thoughts on this thread by any yet on the operational envelope and sectors this may be deployed in? At a glance it looks like a deep interdiction
strike fighter intended to take on a heavy anti surface payload and fuel to match. While I don't think it can reach CONUS without a refuel or few,
Kadena and other establishments (even Guam) seem to be plausible. CBGs too maybe?
But what is of more interest to me is its apparent appropriateness for deep interdiction strike missions into India or even Russia, the former
especially weak in ground based air defense and tracking. Hello now