Aviation Week is reporting that Chinese aviation enthusiasts have spotted a mysterious jet fighter at Chengdu Airport, China. It’s believed that the plane might be the infamous J-20 – the first Chinese stealth fighter, built by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC).
Judging from the pictures you can’t deny big similarities to an F-22 and the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA. It seems to be much larger than an F-22 though.
The Chengdu J-20 was first disclosed by US Office of Naval Intellegence (ONI) in 1997 as XXJ, J-20 (?) and is a 5th generation fighter to enter service around 2015. The jet is believed to be a twin-engine multi-role heavy fighter with enhanced stealth capability and maneuverability comparable to American F-22. It was speculated that 601 Institute was working on a “tri-plane” design based on canard/conventional layout/V-shape tailfin while 611 Institute working on a design based on canard/tailless delta wing/all moving V-shape tailfin/side DSI/bump inlet layout. All designs were expected to feature an internal weapon bay to reduce its radar footprint. The overall performance of J-20 is thought to be superior to Russian T-50 but still inferior to Amereican F-22. In August 2008 it was reported that 611 Institute was selected to be the main contractor for the development of J-20 and 601 Institute as the sub-contractor. One rumor in May 2010 suggested that 611 Institute started to construct the first prototype, which is expected to fly by 2012. The latest rumor claimed that the first two prototypes have been constructed and the first high-speed taxiing trial took place on December 22, 2010.