Home » Around the Globe » J-20 Stealth Fighter Doors Explained

J-20 Stealth Fighter Doors Explained

This Friday morning — more like midday —  is going to be devoted to stealth jets here at DT. Look at the above picture of China’s J-20 Stealth jet. See that big open door just forward of the main landing gear? My colleague Phil Ewing recently asked me if it’s the opening for another weapons or equipment bay.

While I’m no expert on this fighter, I think we can say that we’re seeing the main landing gear bay. Look at the photos below and notice how the gear should fold forward into that open bay.

Chalk any confusement up to grainy pictures of the plane combined with the layout of the forward-folding landing gear and the placement of the bay door. Keep in mind that the door could also provide maintainers access to other internal systems on the plane in addition to accommodating the landing gear.

You can see in the last photo below how that open gear door looks like it wasn’t meant for the landing gear.

The real mystery surrounding the giant plane is; what will it be used for?

My guess is that it’s a high-speed interceptor along the lines of the famous MiG-25 Foxbat and MiG-31 Foxhound or that it’s meant to be a penetrating, F-111 or F-15E-style weapons truck designed to strike heavily defended targets like air bases or carrier battle groups. As you can see in this video, it certainly appears to have the weapons carrying capacity for either of these missions.

Click through the jump for pictures.


{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

TLAM Strike September 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The door on the engine intake fwd of the landing gear, is that a access hatch or some kind of payload bay for SRAAMs?

Personally I think the main weapon for this is something we have yet to see. Perhaps some kind of AIM-54 type weapon for killing AWACS. I think the AWACS killer and Deep Strike roles both converge nicely; remember Red Storm Rising and the F-19 Frisbees?


maxtrue September 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Seems like its meant for both roles depending on the radar and engines as well as the size of China's missiles to come. One should consider the export roles this air craft is intended to serve as being part of any threat assessment. Would this air craft be carrier able?


Ben September 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I think it'd be a poor design decision if it weren't an SRAAM bay, so my guess is yeah.

And I agree with the interceptor/deep strike assessment. China knows it can't match us on a level playing field so they design a long range stealth aircraft with the sole purpose of destroying our critical assets, therefore circumventing a head-to-head engagement. No carriers = diminished offensive capability. No AWACS/Tankers = limited warning and diminished ability to keep up the fight. It puts us on the defensive and reduces our defensive capability all at the same time.


Vstress September 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Even putting an AWACS back a bit further from the fight… to protect it limits the capability. So just knowing stealth aircraft are out there is already a tactic that affects the possible outcome of battles.

I guess we can eventually play the Mutually Assured Destruction card with stealth aircraft that in the end nobody will be able to see/hear/detect! Especially if aircraft get re-equipped with nukes on a larger scale.


yeen September 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

It would need massive bays to hold a sunburn-type carrier killer. It’s probably meant mainly for air defense. An AWACS should be able to see these coming long before they’re in range.


TLAM Strike September 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

The C-803 is the size of an Exocet and is supersonic in the attack phase (subsonic cruise), and has almost double the range of the SUNBURN and flies much lower. I could see it being carried by an aircraft like the J-20.

Why is everyone obsessed with the 40 year old SS-N-22 Sunburn?


blight September 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm

It has a cool name (thank NATO for that)

That said, when people talk about Sunburns, which variant of the Moskit is it? Export? Moskit M?


TLAM Strike September 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

IIRC the PRC has the Moskit E(xport) on their two older DDGs (#136 &137) while the Moskit M (the ER version) is on their two newer DDGs (#138 & 139).


Stratege September 3, 2011 at 3:27 am

Sunburn is too big and old. Chinese could have been adopted SS-N-27-like class of cruise missiles. But the J-20 internal bays should be long enough to fit supersonic AShCM.


TLAM Strike September 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

The C-803 uses a flight profile similar to the N-27 where it cruises subsonic and low alt then goes supersonic for the kill.


maxtrue September 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I don't see pylons. Of course an air craft loses more stealth to AWACS with external loads, but given the size, I suppose it could carry carrier killers externally simply as a fast way to deliver them. Putting their killers on missiles presents the ballistic trajectory conundrum.

When I read recently the approach to the new bomber the DOD was considering (see Ares) and I saw mentioned the need for a high altitude platform, I imagined what that would be for beyond recon. I'm not sure the J-20 is the answer to that air defense problem, nor do I think such issues can be neutralized with more advanced stealth technology deployed at very high altitudes. China might find a one size fits all approach that costs a lot of money fits no niche as well as specialized varieties.


Crashman Too September 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Well spoken, sir! More advanced stealth tech? Operating at VERY high altitudes? Only if they hack us to steal such tech! Remember, these are the guys who showed off their ASAT capability by needlessly filling Earth's most useful low orbits with space junk, endangering every person who will pass thru Earth orbit forever and a day. INTENTIONALLY! Heads rolled in Beijing over that one! Just because they like to act inscrutable doesn't mean they aren't very backward! They can't INNOVATE! Noticed that recently? For subs? Diesel boats! Steam trains! ALL Space-tech they have was either: handed over by Clinton, copied from Russia (their manned stuff), or stolen from us by hacking and espionage. This "J-20"? A scarecrow one-off, hand-made by a guy in Beijing who reads Aviation Week. Just like the MiG-25, whose only purpose was to make ONE Mach 3+ run across our radars (destroying its Tumansky engines) to scare our SR-71 pilots. I STILL haven't heard of any SR-71 shootdowns, have you? The Chinese motto they cite with such pride (I've been there- a LOT) : "We can always fool a foreigner". They just can't handle the tech, or fill their hand with any aces when we call their bet, make them show their cards- except by espionage. The last aviation innovation I saw from China was tactical- kamikaze-ramming US Naval ELINT aircraft that were clearly in international waters. Remember that only now are they building their first small domestic airliner- with LOTS of help from the BRAZILIANS!


Chimp September 3, 2011 at 1:49 am

I really wonder if this comment doesn't originate from the PSB… it's such FUD.

Air defence isn't likely as a mission for the J-20. They have a bunch of new J-10's (nice looking fighter) and Su-27 variants that would likely handle the mission as well, for a lot less money.

I always understood stealth to be a first day of the war offensive weapon. I imagine the PLA sees it that way, too.


Crashman Too September 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Sir, I assure you that I am a loyal American and a pilot for 37 years- civilian. I deny the fear, but uncertainty and doubt always have a place at a smart analyst's table. Thank you for challenging MY mind-set. That's healthy! So I take back my categorical statement that the Chinese can't innovate. No one can say that of such a huge country undergoing such a HUGE defense buildup. But I'd still put us FAR in the techno-lead on stealth, digital battlespaces (emphasis on the SPACE) and general warfighting capability. I also note that China historically has shown little desire to expand its borders, Taiwan and Tibet notwithstanding. Competition for resources might change that- esp. now that Wall Street has made US a nation of peasants, too.

The aptly-named Letsallbefriends below cites the sub-popup in the middle of one of our CBGs. No doubt it happened! No doubt that diesel boats can carry nukes, either. But anybody can lie dead-quiet-mode on the bottom, calculate the mean-course zigzags of the CBG, and then blow tanks. That's where it would get interesting. With the new supercavitating undersea weapons, I'd bet that our response (in time of war, God forbid) would be to have that boat's pressure vessel wrecked violently before their "Blow Tanks! Surface!" bubbles could even reach the ocean surface. If sailing at GQ, a good chance we'd make her out lying there with our sidescan 3D sonars just as the first DD outer pickets and sensor-dipping helos at the point of the CBG's spear approached her, too. But this is peacetime. Diplomacy works.

Let's let China have the influence she DESERVES and NEEDS in those waters, but maybe not all she WANTS. So- Fear? Maybe of their expertise in VERY sophisticated cyberattacks on us, which have made us look like dummies several times now. Uncertainty and doubt I must resolve in favor of the USA at his time - a bet on the Home Team. But challenge me, PLEASE! Make a fool of me! Let's make this conversation among gentlemen productive! Show me their KNOWN weapons/defense innovations, their SCARIEST stuff we just can't match. A gear bay and door isn't much- but 'the wonder of the MiG 25/31 was that they could do that WITH STEELS- not Titanium! What do you see coming from China in the next 5 years? Russian-like substitution of sheer NUMBERS and Foxbat-like AMAZINGLY executed duplication of our hi-tech with simpler, easy-to-make systems that cost 10% of ours but deliver 90% of the performance-OR- REAL WOW! Omigod! game-changers? And don't forget the persistent problem we civilian prognosticators always have- our DOD knows the wonders WE have a-cookin' in our labs, but we as civilian analysts here have FEW clues about OURSELVES, let alone an opponent. Except for fine publishers/places like DefenseTech and STRATFOR to assess the Enemy- whomever they may turn out to be! And in the air/space arena, our atmospheric unmanned SCRAMJETS are about to give us the capability to put a vehicle over any place on Earth within 1 hr. To take LOW pictures- and PLEASE… may those OTHER bay doors on it stay CLOSED FOREVER. (And yes, I DO know the diff between an incoming MIRV'd-with-countermeasures ballistic missile and a fast-overflying photo? bomb? drone.)

Until then, let's have fun swapping knowledge/ideas and watching the Spratlys. I now relinquish the floor to my colleagues here, most of whom I can safely assume know MUCH more than I do about a LOT of things. Sincere Thanks, Chimp! I'm here to LEARN, too!
…..I'm still boggled that we may have to leave the ISS uncrewed for 6 mo. because of SOYUZ problems. HOW on EARTH could NASA let THAT happen? OOPS! But just watch SpaceX and Orbital Sciences' ISS cargo/ Crew capsules charge into that gap. Private Enterprise! And SpaceX will dock its cargo-version DRAGON capsule (also designed from Day One to be Man-Rated) TWO MONTHS from now- right into its docking port already ISS- installed. TOO close a call! But United States Private Enterprise is solving THAT problem NOW, while ARES is headed for the cancel-box, as it should be. ARES could fly- but in 2015-16.


Letsallbefriends September 3, 2011 at 3:14 am

I remember when one of their subs popped up in the middle of a carrier battle group. I bet that made bubba drop his doughnuts.


Stratege September 3, 2011 at 3:39 am

Chinese CAN innovate. Their engineering and science are on the rising.
MiG-25 was a relatively cheap and good enough interceptor against bombers, MiG was adopted for mass production unlike Blackbird. SR-71s were not downed just because it has never faced with any serious air defense. I am never heard about deep penetration that Sr-71s did into Soviet air space.


Crashman Too September 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I yield to your first point. My bad. A mistake to assume that about China— despite their past record. And WHY did you never hear of SR-71s over the old CCCP? We won't tell if they don't. Besides, sats were doing that job so well for decades now that we didn't need it and it's a BAD IDEA to irritate them. We had no NEED to arrogantly walk all over their airspace. "Yea, though I fly through the Airspace of Death, I will fear no shootdown, for thy mighty Pratt & Whitneys comfort me, thy Titanium Skin enables London-to- LA in 2 hr. 45 minutes (with 2 refuelling stops at tanker speed), for I am at 65,000 feet AND CLIMBING!" —- (the Psalm of the SR-71 Pilot.) No, they could not have gotten them- unless diving down on their six from SPACE. Only a double persistent unstart could have brought one down. But why take the risk and enrage the Big Bear when this satellite-platform PHOTINT and ELINT gives us all we want to know? Rest in quiet in your comfy hangar, Manned Bullet. You've done your job. When our PhotoSATs orbit over the Kremlin, they all march out into the central courtyard and give it the finger. Because they know we can see it.


Maxtrue September 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

To be clear, I was referring to OUR ability to build very high platforms (not suborbital) and to apply advanced stealth so they can loiter without been seen. What one can do with such high platforms I will leave to the readers and my sign off below. I suggest that the J-20 is not a practical defense against this capability and a fleet of J-20s would likely encounter a protective layer of assets below such high platforms. The purpose for such high altitude platforms however, is not to thwart the PLA but those building very deep facilities for WMD projects.



Maxtrue September 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

I was referring to OUR building stealthy very high altitude platforms and defensive layers for their loitering.



Crashman Too September 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I don't think we disagree, even though I may have misunderstood. Further criticism welcomed, friend.



ChuckL September 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

The MiG 25 was designed to shoot down the B-70 Valkyrie, Mach 3, 70,000 feet+ altitude, bomber.


Lance September 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I bet by its small payload its a interceptor made to sneak up to bombers and shoot them down. It lacks external pylons and also large bays or any major ground pounder munitions, unless its meant to deliver a single abomb a FB-111 type aircraft.


Lance September 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

There is too much fear over this plane its a decade away from reaching full production the DoD says and its payload is small. Remember most of you was scared to death over the MiG-25 in the 70s and it didn't turn out to be the weapon to destroy America that some of you said it was.


Crashman Too September 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Listen to EXPERIENCE. Listen to Lance! You've got it nailed, buddy!


blight September 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

I wonder who in the '70s really thought the Valkyrie-Killer was "the weapon to destroy America"


Lance September 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Most defense experts thought it was a game changer and thought the MiG-25 could outperform any existing US fighter. The USAF at great expense made our F-15 to counter this. want till Victor Vinchenko defected in the late 70s which showed the MiG-25 didn't have such stellar performance.


blight September 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

VVS issues requirements for a U-2 stopper/air defense interceptor: 1958
Recon variant prototype flies: 1964
Interceptor prototype flies: 1964
F-15 RFP: 1965
1967: US learns of the Mig-25
F-X program: 1969

Mig-25 copy arrives: 1976


Joe September 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Don't take the pentagons word as gospel. If u remember, the Pentagon also said the Russians and Chinese were 10 years away from even displaying stealth technology. They used that as an excuse to kill F-22 production. The Chinese have a habit of doing things a lot faster than the pentagon says. Less controls and environmental issues to contend with. Need I mention a change purse that seems to always be full because of all the jobs we exported to them.


tribulationtime September 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Around 5.5 to 8 m and 1500 kg for supersonic missiles. Too much long. C-701 2.5m and 100kg only 20 km range and high subsonic speed. Easily defeated. I think what the knowed anti-ship weapons of China can´t justify that big bays. Multiple weapons load with carrousel or others means and Expected very long range BVR missiles would be the answer.


5Colossus September 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

…Or we could all just be realistic and realize that the door opens so that the MLG wheels can clear the aircraft (dropping along it's long axis), and then probably close again for aerodynamic stability's sake.


Juuso September 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

“Or we could all just be realistic and realize that the door opens so that the MLG wheels can clear the aircraft”

There is a small strip of fuselage between the gear door and that mystery hatch.


Crashman Too September 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Let's Hear it for REALISM! JUST A GEAR DOOR! Lined with a Kevlar-like fabric to keep tire-dirt from entering the systems/inspectable areas behind that white fabric. But still just a gear door. And that's one tough set of gear! As in Carrier-Qualified. And we've launched Very Large Bombing Aircraft from carriers before, too- as Jimmy Dolittle (R.I.P.) knows. My guess? Fast Weapons Truck- but Carrier-Capable. They're very proud of that new carrier, but it's no good without A/C. This bird is -so far- just a scarecrow flying proof-of-concept that proves they subscribe to our industry magazines. Our Marine/Naval Aviators will down this thing before our CBG DD picket's radar can even see it, flying ChinaCap. We'll have spotted it (IR/optically, passively, stealthily) from our Naval SeaSats. By the time our DD pickets ping it, our OTH missiles will be on their way. Hopefully their next Satlaunch won't either a) wipe out a 2nd downrange village, or b) fill LEO with space junk as it blows up or shows us how good their ASATs are. Oops! You guys give them way too much credit. They can only hack/steal/buy tech, not innovate. Let's put a stop to 100% of their Stealth weapons R&D- by pulling the plug on ALL Internet packets they send to/get from us. Those are 98% PLA-originated.


taylormarvin September 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Carrier-capable? The single nose gear wheel suggests otherwise.


Letsallbefriends September 3, 2011 at 3:30 am

No, obviously a country of 1.3 billion who gave the world gunpowder & paper couldn’t possibly innovate, ever. They couldn’t innovate when they were a closed society but now they’re not so they’re busy catching up on what they’ve missed by any means necessary. Then I think they will be more innovative than America because they have cash, ambition and their kids study harder at school. They’ve already innovated in mass production and logistics (I’ve been there too). In a few years time the difference will be that their aircraft will be operational while America’s are still pictures in Aviation Week.


Maxtrue September 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

Well, without getting into the fray, China can't really build a great engine, can they? And in several years when they can, where will we be (assuming the politicos don't rape the DOD)? Scram/ram engines? Cloaks of invisibility? .4 kiloton EPWs? Next you will be pointing out the Chinese are great textile experts. I think stealth fabric is a bit different. No one is making a racist claim here as the Chinese are a bright bunch with a long history, but going back to gunpowder is a stretch. I'm not being smug.

To shoot down very high platforms they will need to see it and hit it and I rather doubt such high platforms will not have layers of defense below them. I don't think Russia could shoot down the Black bird with a rocket that wasn't as fast. They have nothing on the Falcon should it ever work.

China has in fact created a terrible problem with space debris in a rather stupid test. It was SO stupid one must consider malfeasance. Freedom is the greatest ambition, so if you are right about China they are on the right track to overthrow their totalitarian government and discover there is no need to build expensive armies to protect them from Liberal Democracy.

And where do they get their money, from trade with the US? Russia is so angry Chinese steal their licensed products, they have cut back on the technology they sell. The J-20 does not seem like a top gun fighter. It is also not a bomber and not particularly stealthy. Without super cruise engines and the weapons needed for its missions, it is only a concept at the moment. Without superior radar, what does it see? If you don't think espionage is a critical factor in Chinese designs, I would say you aren't looking hard enough. I do admit however, while the Chinese steal, we just spent 1 trillion in waste, corruption and fraud prosecuting two wars in the ME. That was a bit less than China loaned us. China obviously, thinks that what they lack in scientific and manufacturing abilities, America lacks in common sense and common purpose. With enough time at this trajectory, we will indeed over take us.


Crashman Too September 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

You forgot paper money, the printing press, aerodynamic manned kite-flight to observe the enemy from the sky in battle, and some great recipes, too. MY point is that when they wanted to build a 737-class single-aisle small domestic use airliner, they had to license the tech from Embraer- which builds GREAT aircraft and is only about what, 30 years old, and VERY new at designing large jet transport AC. In my field, I have been invited to lecture to the (roots thru box of 3,000 everyday-use characters, then box of 3,000 business-use characters, to translate-) "Shanghai Entrepreneur's Association" - roughly the equivalent of the New York City Chamber of Commerce. They are having all the troubles the Russians had in de-Communisting, but not so corrupt. They are awesomely bureaucratic- a nation that fears "losing face" at every level- from raising their kid at home to Int'l diplomacy. "We all work together to succeed" means "we never blame anyone or any other org. if we don't." Someone might lose face! Unthinkable! Everything still depends on who you know, personal business-networking, we would say. That's the ONLY way you can do business and not get cheated- a personal interlocking network of mutual obligations and trust. This is because they are just setting up a CIVIL legal system. The Party doesn't want to adjudicate business disputes, any conflict or dispute (between 2 people or 2 huge companies) is seen as shameful, and the old Communist system of everybody-in-village is the Jury doesn't scale up. They need a system of resolving disputes quickly, fairly, and w/o "pull" or who-knows-who playing a part. As of the late 90s, they didn't have anything like this. All lawyers were CRIMINAL lawyers. Bad business lawyers pick holes and find endless faults with a deal. Good business lawyers find ways to make the deal work for everybody. They especially need this because it is perfectly acceptable business behavior to keep negotiating long AFTER the last dot of the Big Contract is signed. This drives Americans to madness. The Deal is never sealed… it is a rolling dynamic, continuously being rewritten. And that's if you're successful.
And that is why I say they steal rather than innovate (why re-invent the wheel, when you can talk the plans out of the Americans?) - that they do NOT innnovate except when FORCED to… (a 5,000-yr-old culture) AND WE'RE BUSTING THEM ON THAT! NO MORE FREE SATELLITE-BUILDER KNOWLEDGE (From Hughes). So- THE GREAT LEADER NOW WANTS A MANNED SPACE PROGRAM. "Get Moscow, Proton, Sovkosmos, Glavnoye Raketyenny, and Phazotron on the line, please….." STILL NOT INNOVATING! Just blowing up villages with the Long Blast booster and topping the new 5s off with Taikonauts in a stripped-down Soyuz! All paid for with hard currency to the Russians. Let's see- what could that currency possibly be. It's gonna be FORMERLY "hard currency" unless we get off our butts here! But NOW- TODAY- as we sit here- there's still a chance. BECAUSE THEY'D RATHER STEAL THAN INNOVATE? You say they can… WHERE IS IT? WHERE ARE THE ASTOUNDING NEW INVENTIONS ORIGINATING IN CHINA? They're doing well… we're on our butts over here… BUT SHOW ME ONE TRUE INNOVATION on the level of the Laser, the microchip, the Shuttle, the Internet, GPS Sat-Constellations, the CHEAP PC Computer… that CLEARLY CAME FROM CHINA—- LAST CENTURY AND THIS! Just one will do!


DDG September 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

why you so pissed?……


Vstress September 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Quite seriously go into China and try to build something decent… I dare you.

It's surprisingly difficult to get anything decent out of this country (of 1.3 billion people).

They are brought up to be led like sheep… whatever you tell them to do (or not) they will do. When they can't proceed the blindly guess.

The world does not need human calculators, we invented machines to do that for us a while back. The world needs innovators.

It is not a racist view… it is a culture they have bred. This is also why you will find they are having people from India teach them how to "innovate". And if you have ever had dealings with Indian people in industry, you know they aren't good at that either. Another culture that has been bred.

Innovative engineering didn't happen overnight in the West. It has taken literally hundreds of years of "freedom for expression and thought".


Letsallbefriends September 3, 2011 at 2:52 am

It isn’t armed with anything yet and as it’s still some way from full production, the weapons intended for it may also be in development. Anything that wants to be remotely stealthy needs to carry it’s payload and fuel internally.
Long range AAMs, ASMs, stand off runway
cratering bomblet dispensers and the sea are
all big. So I thinks it’s a multirole heavy fighter, a kind SU33 SE if you will. Whatever your hopes or prejudices, it is much too early
to know how good it’ll be


Crashman Too September 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

You know, you're exactly right. Let's see if this Tiger is Paper or a real shining game-changer! I got off on a tear about China rather than this airplane! Oops! Sorry….
(Sits down, shuffles paper quietly)


MrCjis September 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Looking at this bird reminds me of the F-106. It had a huge missile bay behind the nose gear. This thing looks to be MUCH bigger in the body than the 6's. Maybe they need the room for fuel but I'm thinking they may have a surprise hanging up there!


Alvar September 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

You mean something like rotary launcher or what?


FreeRoy September 7, 2011 at 12:51 am

MrCjis, I didn't think anybody but me even remembered the F-106!
The 106 had a huge belly bay for a pretty good reason, you'll recall. This thing has a bigger bay, so I'd imagine that it carries more payload.
The forward hatch certainly looks like a nose-wheel recess, but I can't figure the linkage — the brace comes from behind the gear, not out of the opened hatch.


Chimp September 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

There are pictures of the belly bay elsewhere, and it is pretty big. There's one shot taken from nearly directly beneath with the bay open. You can see a red (training?) missile of some kind in the bay. Looks to me like it would hold at least two weapons, if not more. Not a rotary launcher, though.


Albert T. September 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I would love to witness carrier landing training with this over sized POS.


Alvar September 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I think it’s quite clear that J-20 is not made to be carrier fighter.
How you know it’s over sized when you don’t what purpose it’s made of?


Cataldo September 5, 2011 at 2:09 am

This bird is useful in many ways, i think they have an idea for an ASAT system related to this big bay too.


marvel September 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

good call. i haven't heard many people propose that yet.


JSFMIKE September 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

When in doubt, get out your basic tools - protractor, pencil, compass, etc. Scribe a line to the furthest point of the main tire and forward. The tire swings into the door opening. The door is approx the size of the tire and gear components. The long, short height door forward of this opening looks like a Sidewinder-type missile bay door, a la F-22. Most of the doors on this Prototype have straight edges along the forward side. That is not stealthy so there will be changes sometime in the future if they expect this thing to evade radar. The engine intake is all wrong for an efficient device to deliver proper air to the powerplant. Either that or they have some moving surfaces up the intake to help compressibility; that's not efficient either. But it is a Prototype!


Alvar September 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

You are saying that F-35 also has wrong intake type? F-35 and J-20 both use DSI technology.

Chinese planes like FC-1 (JF-17 in Pakistan) and J-10 are now using DSI style intakes, and before that they had conventional ones, but why use DSI in planes if it works so badly? Clearly intake of that type has more pros than cons.


ryan September 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I wonder if the J 20 has a "made in China" sticker on it!


jim September 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

"N yuck-N yuck-N yuck"


tfansoi September 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

So happy to see the chinese build this stealth junk. let them waste billions if not trillions. God help us if they build real war fighters like the F15 or A10.


James L Habermehl September 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Is the existence of weapons bays really still in question with some people? It's been clear for months that the bay layout of the J-20 is essentially identical to that of the F-22: one large twin centerline bay and a small bay on each side. Not so clear but pretty settled is that the weapons capacity of the bays is about equivalent to the F-22's, with enough room for a total of six PL-12 in the center and one relatively short-ranged IR missile in each side bay.


blight September 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

People are stubbornly clinging to the idea that the PRC is too primitive to design and deploy reliable weapons systems.

Or, we are prosiac and preferring to wait until we see these things in the air and deploying weapons from those aforementioned "fighter doors".


Joe September 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

It's a new nearly silent propulsion system.

For the love of God someone PLEASE get this reference.


blight September 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

But can't you hear the singing?


Anthony Carta September 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Sure looks to me like the landing gear doors. They appear flimsy and it's likely they would rip off if opened in combat situations. Duhhhh. A belly door/doors would be more practicle for a wide variety of payloads.


Alvar September 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

It has clearly belly & side bay doors open in that pic.


Ronald Padro September 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

People never under estimate you're enemy it is aways a prelude to desaster.Remember Peral Habor,D-day Omaha beach, ect. Please read our Hist. we paid a big price in blood in the wars we have been in.


blight September 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

Brought to you by Lockheed Martin, BAE and Fletcher Prouty's Secret Team.


David September 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Joe, are you implying a caterpiller drive?


well-duh September 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

naw — it looks to me as if the Chinese landing gear fold forward. If so the main gear have two section doors to close - one of which is that door you are pointing toward.

Why? well for one that means the actual weapons bay has almost the entire bottom of the main fuselage unobstructed up to the nose gear. Hopefully it would not also mean that door closure/opening is such a problem that the Chinese want to be able to go full speed to rip the gear doors off then finish weapons delivery. But those are the sort of odd differences in thinking that make each nation different. javascript: postComment(0);


well-duh September 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I am guessing the Chinese consider forward folding gear less likely to collapse - being braced up by aerodynamics and landing forces. Might be useful if gear extension hydraulyics or motors are gone. Also another reason for flimsy tear away gear doors. In gear systems failure before final a simple crack in gear door seal at high speed might open the whole thing.


well-duh September 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

LOL - Chinese fool you all. Purpose of Aircraft is to sell toys based on aircraft. Never more than few prototypes. Also to get US and Russia to spend more $$$ on useless military expansion while we put $$$ into build industrial capacity.


K L September 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I know the Chinese make knock off everything but a knock off Mig 1.42?!! hahaha Oh well it looks like they have improved upon the original design.


henry wilburn September 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

some people are just blind to what they see. It is plain to see that the plane has a center-line bomb bay with two outward opening doors!!!! For carring what they can design to carry, missles or bombs. It may even have smaller doors for A/A missles keep airframe smooth for high speed flight. The pictures of the aircraft from the bottom are dark on purpose so we can,t see how many doors are on the bottom of the fuselage. All the pictures were most likely taken by the chinese anyhow.!!


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