China displayed a scale-model of its FC-31 stealth fighter jet at the Paris Airshow 2019 with different contours than that of its current prototype triggering speculation that the jet had been upgraded with new features.
“The displayed model shows noteworthy changes in design that could significantly improve its capabilities,” pro-government Global Times noted. The area behind the cockpit and the areas where the two engines are housed are now bulkier and the aerodynamic design has been optimized to further reduce wind resistance, the report noted.
These changes could mean the aircraft has been made more agile and is capable of carrying more fuel, which will give it a larger operational range; it might also carry additional electronic devices for communication or satellite links, the paper said quoting an industry expert.
The upgraded FC-31 might even feature a pair of new engines. The engine nozzles on the FC-31 model displayed in Paris are very different in structure and shape than the ones previously used suggesting more powerful engines.
Despite several years in the making, the J-31 (FC-31 is the designation for the export version), is nowhere near services entry. The first prototype/tech demonstrator flew in 2012. A second prototype with upgrades to its wings, inclusion of IRST sensor and a single piece canopy was shown at the 2014 Zhuhai airshow and its first flight happened only in December 2016.
At that time, it was believed that the design had been frozen and that the aircraft would begin the process of testing its various weapons, communication and stealth features.
Speculation of project delays was rife when the jet did not put up a flying display at the 2018 Zhuhai Air show. However, with new-look mock-up at the ongoing Paris event, possibility of the project skipping timelines of prototype testing and certification cannot be discounted.
China launched the global marketing of its FC-31 stealth fighter jet that costs about US$70 million, about half the price of the Lockheed Martin F-35, at Paris Air Show 2017. "We expect that the plane's price will be around $70 million, about half that of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II from the US, which is the only fifth-generation fighter jet available on the market from the US, which only sells it to allies
China provided details of its FC-31 fighter aircraft earlier this week, a plane it is accused of developing by stealing secrets from the US F-35. While a section of the US and European media and defence analysts have been at the forefront of these accusations, a comparison of the features of the both the aircraft will support the claim whether it a copy or an original inspiration
Chinas Peoples Liberation Army –Air Force (PLA-AF) is expected to be the launch customer of the FC-31 stealth fighter developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). AVIC is currently negotiating with the PLA-AF to buy an unspecified number of the FC-31 stealth fighters, AVIC project manager Lin Peng said during a media briefing at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday
Pakistan plans to procure the fourth generation stealth fighter aircraft FC-31 Shenyang from China, according to media reports. Pakistani Defense Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain has confirmed that meetings with China were underway for the procurement of the stealth fighter, Dawn newspaper reported Tuesday
China has offered its two-seat fighter-trainer FC-1B for international sales by showing its model at the Paris Air Show last week. It is not known at what stage of development the FC-1B is
China last week tested a heavy cargo airdrop by an unmanned single-engine biplane. The test marks the first ever airdrop in China of cargo weighing more than 500 kilograms on a flight distance of more than 500 kilometers with an unmanned transport aircraft, CCTV quoted Li Ruixing, the president of the PLA National Defense University's joint logistics academy, as saying
Airbus helicopters and French Ministry for Transport (DGAC) announced at the Paris Air Show 2019, that their new hybrid light helicopter demonstrator will perform its first flight next year. At the event, they launched a research project aimed at demonstrating the use of a hybrid propulsion system on board H-130 single-engine helicopter testbed
Chinas AV500 unmanned helicopter developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has completed its first night night operation on June 14, and is likely to be commissioned to service soon. The chopper drone, billed as a competitor to the US-made MQ-8 Fire Scout, took off and flew towards the sea in a headwind of 15 meters per second in South China's Hainan Province
An electric-powered airplane christened “Alice,” capable of carrying nine passengers with a 650 miles range and having cruising speed of 276 mph has been unveiled at the Paris Air Show 2019 by its developer, Israeli firm, Eviation. “Operating at a fraction of the costs of conventional jetliners, our Alice will redefine how people travel regionally and usher in a new era of flying that is quieter, cleaner and cost effective,” Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said
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