Canopy, a highlight of China's new J-20 fighter jet

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2015-12-03 16:31

The China-made fourth-generation J-20 stealth fighter with fuselage number 2017 completes its first flight recently.

BEIJING, Dec. 3 (ChinaMil) -- The latest China-made fourth-generation J-20 stealth fighter with fuselage number 2017 has successfully completed its first flight on November 24, 2015, only over two months after the first flight of the J-20 stealth fighter with fuselage number 2016.

This is the eighth China-made J-20 fighter and also the sixth prototype J-20 fighter used for test flight.

Fu Qianshao, deputy editor of the Aviation Magazine under the PLA Air force, said in an interview that canopy with metal-film coating is used for J-20 fighter with fuselage number 2017, which can further improve the fighter’s stealth performance.

Fu held that launching two prototype J-20 fighters in such a short time not only proves that the results of test flight assessment for the J-20 fighters are satisfactory, namely the relevant tests on J-20 fighter’s aerodynamic performance, stealth performance and airborne equipment have achieved or been close to the index requirements, but also indicates that the J-20 fighter has entered its key test-flight completion stage.

Fu introduced that the current eight prototype J-20 fighters can be classified into three categories, namely the black color J-20 fighters with fuselage numbers 2001 and 2002 are technical verification models, which are similar to the U.S. YF-22 prototype models; the J-20 fighters with fuselage numbers 2011 and 2012, which have different coatings and appearances from the previous ones, are apparently the engineering prototype models equipped with Pitot tubes; and the J-20 fighters with fuselage numbers 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 are prototype models, which are close to the stereotyped models.

“It is possible that the China-made J-20 fighters will soon be deployed to PLA troops,” Fu estimated.

According to the released photos, the canopy of the J-20 fighter with fuselage number 2017 has been slightly adjusted as compared with the previous models, namely its canopy has a shrunken edge curve, Fu continued.

Fu expressed that the canopy modification is in consideration of strength enhancement, air resistance reduction and stealth improvement. The J-20 fighter’s canopy has been modified for two times, and such modifications are mainly for stealth performance improvement and at the same time, for air resistance reduction, Fu explained.

In addition to the canopy appearance change, the canopy of the prototype J-20 fighter with fuselage number 2017 has another highlight, namely use of metal-film coating, Fu mentioned.

The aircraft cockpit is a strong reflector, which can affect aircraft’s overall stealth performance, Fu analyzed. But after the use of canopy with metal-film coating, radar waves cannot penetrate into the cockpit, and even some of the radar waves enter the cockpit, only small fraction of radar waves can be reflected, which will further improve aircraft’s stealth performance, Fu added.

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