Midweek Video: The New PLAAF

Here’s some midweek video on China’s version of YouTube showing off the PLAAF’s newest tactical jets. The star of the show is obviously the J-20 stealth fighter. This video cearly shows it performing pre-flight tests of its flight controls, taxiing, taking off and landing. However, as Steve Trimble of The DEW Line points out, the new J-10B makes an appearance in the video powered by China’s own WS10 Taihang engine. This is serious because China views its dependence on Russian-made fighter engines to be a major obstacle to its rise as a military power. The older JF-17 Thunder (which is also flown by Pakistan) also makes several appearances.

  • Vstress

    To those who don’t know…

    The canard wings in the Eurofighter are used for controlling an unstable aircraft and are constantly moving because the aircraft (like the F-16) is unstable. The canards naturally also point downwards, as the aircraft will naturally tend to pitch up.

    As a result, you can see that this aircraft is not an unstable design… as it does have canards, but it does not use them to suppress aircraft instability. It uses the canards for extra lift is all.

    So this aircraft, while it may be stealth. It is not as manoeuvrable as even our F-16s.

    • CSZ

      If you are talking about the canard on the J-20…all canard provide lift but the canard on J-20 is a control canard type. (is there even any military aircraft with pure lift-type canard in service? Maybe the Su-33)

      When the aircraft is airborne, it is not like you are going to SEE the movement of the canard or indeed any control surfaces, unless the aircraft is pulling high-G maneuvers.

      • Vstress

        If the aircraft is UNSTABLE, the canard does NOT provide lift. (wing cop is forward of the cog)

        If the aircraft is STABLE, the canard DOES provide lift. (wing cop is aft of the cog)

        In the same way the tailplane on a STABLE aircraft does NOT provide lift. (wing cop if aft of the cop)

        On an UNSTABLE aircraft, such as the F-16, the tailplane DOES provide lift. (wing cop is forward of the cog)

        All of the above applies to steady flight conditions… obviously when diverting from these, the direction of lift can change.

        • Vstress

          Also… forgot to mention… this obviously changes when the a/c goes supersonic - i.e. the cop shifts aftwards and the aircraft becomes more stable

        • jhm

          it sort of does. the gripen uses this factor to take off on extremely short runways. canards do help in dogfighting. Nearly all combat aircraft are built “unstable”. fly-by-wire system corrects this.

    • GG2


      • DCN

        Translation (if I got it correct) - Friends accept the fact that this is not your country does not recognize a pretext for national progress.

      • CND2

        Hmm. This double negate form of sentence is a bit tricky to translate.

        “Accept the facts, my friend. These are just excuses you (your country) use to not recognize the advance of another nation.”

    • Jeff

      Yes, but it will probably cost only as much as an F-16. It obviously doesn’t help that we are broke.

  • Andrew

    J-20 is built as a big interceptor type craft, its already noted its not aiming for maneuverability.

    • Liam

      Easy pray for a Raptor i guess.

  • Lance

    Most of China’s fighters are knock offs of Russian and European. The J-10 is a smaller lighter of the Eurofighter. The JF-17 a copy of a Saab Griphen, the fact is alot of the PLAAF is still made up of J-7 Airguards which are MiG-21 copies. And as for skills take it from a air force who lost to Vietnam in the 1980s and has NO combat experience period. Therese way too much hype ov3er China. Russia would be a far more formidable foe.

    • jumper

      True. But they’re receiving a lot of Russian tech, training, and engineering.

      • Praetorian

        I dont know jumper, seems like to me Russia has gotten sick of China. I Remember hearing that China wanted to buy 2 SU-33’s, Russia refused and told them they would sell 24 and only 24. China is now a competitor for Russia,
        and should be treated as so.

        • jhm

          especially when china built the j11:)

    • CSZ

      I don’t know if it is your hate, fear, jealousy or denial. But first, please post responsibly and get the facts straight. At the minimum, try use wikipedia.

      I think you are the first person I’ve seen to link JF-17 to the G-R-I-P-E-N. Try again.

  • A-10 Loader

    Really? The Raptor cant even get off the ground. What a GREAT investment that POS is. You would of though that after 14 YEARS of flight testing, the F-22 would be pretty flawless. Thanks Lockheed………BLAH!!

    • Chops

      JSF is temporarily grounded too according to Aviation Week

  • Roland

    Probably they will sell it to us for buy one take one deal…

    • Chops

      Yea-we’ll write them an IOU- then take it- strip it down, and build it right with good engines.

  • http://www.oudin.org Oudin

    AF maybe buy this aircraft?

  • GG2


    • DCN

      Translation ( again, if I got it right): Looks like a hero to deal with a bird flu.

    • DCN


  • Ben

    Accept the fact that not brothers, admit excuse.

  • AdhocReckon

    Whether or not it’s an unstable design, the J20’s canards are big and all-moving, so I reckon they probably help it change direction pretty sharply as well as providing lift. If you look at the video of it taking off, they pitch up just before it does.

    The tail fins look small in proportion to the rest of the aircraft, but they’re all-moving too so I expect they do the job.

    Anyone heard anything more about the STOVL plane they’re meant to be working on?

    • Marx

      Lots of people analytically discussing it no doubt.

  • MBurt

    All this worrying about China…question, if someone owes you money, do you start a fight with that individual? Even better, if you own a store, do you start a fight with your biggest customer? Better? If you have a store and have your own store credit card, do you start a fight with your best customer that spends money as well as buy with his store credit card? All of you people scared of China need to get a grip. WAR with CHINA aint gonna happen!

    • elportonative77

      You never know what might happen.

    • Jay

      Burt, in the real world if someone doesn’t pay they send thugs to intimidate him. If he still doesn’t pay they break his leg.

      Now multply that by a few trillion dollars…

      • dbpollard

        Although this isn’t the best string to discuss politics, it’s worth noting that China’s military progress is a concern of ours. Not only does our government owe them a considerable sum of money, but China hasn’t really been too fond of us since we engaged in surrogate combat against them in our “war(s) on communism.”

        The fact of the matter is, no matter how “close” we may be to war, we need to man up and accept that it IS a possibility.