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aumaverick
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New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:11 pm

According to multiple sources, China's Chengdu has launched a new two-seat variant of its stealth fighter. Could this be a trainer rather than a true two-man stealth fighter/attack aircraft?

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42892/is-this-our-first-look-at-a-two-seat-variant-of-chinas-j-20-stealth-fighter

Image
 
RJMAZ
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:43 pm

The back seat might be controlling drones.
 
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keesje
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:56 pm

As expected, there were also rumours it would have the long expected 18k thrust vectoring WS-15's.
The engines might look different, but it's blurry. W'll soon see better pictures.
 
aumaverick
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:59 pm

keesje wrote:
As expected, there were also rumours it would have the long expected 18k thrust vectoring WS-15's.
The engines might look different, but it's blurry. W'll soon see better pictures.


How much weight would an additional cockpit add to the empty weight? The J-20 is already close to 2m longer and almost 3K kg heavier (full fuel) than the F-22 while also being some 250 mph slower. Will the new WS-10C or the WS-15 make up for any additional penalties that come with the additional pilot?
 
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keesje
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:27 pm

aumaverick wrote:
keesje wrote:
As expected, there were also rumours it would have the long expected 18k thrust vectoring WS-15's.
The engines might look different, but it's blurry. W'll soon see better pictures.


How much weight would an additional cockpit add to the empty weight? The J-20 is already close to 2m longer and almost 3K kg heavier (full fuel) than the F-22 while also being some 250 mph slower. Will the new WS-10C or the WS-15 make up for any additional penalties that come with the additional pilot?


Little specs known. But it will have newer significantly more powerful WS-15 engines than the F22. The engines are the biggest problem. Russia doesn't want to provide more Saturns if the Chinese won't buy Su35s, the interim solution now is WS-10C, the ultimate engine for mass production the WS-15..

I still have the impression the J20 is more of an stealth attack aircraft than a real A2A platform. Large fuel capacity, internal bays and now a second crew member seem to point in that direction. A while ago there were rumors already 100-150 J20 are delivered. https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... s-possible The two seat JH-7 strike aircraft are probably early on the replacement list https://images6.alphacoders.com/101/thu ... 010863.jpg
 
744SPX
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:04 pm

The second seat position looks too low for a trainer.

The WS-15 seems to be having the same problems as the Saturn Izdeliye-30. Stuck in a ~15-year-and-counting development hell. If they were smart, Russia and China would team up on gas turbine engine development. It's without a doubt their Achilles heel. Depressing to watch them endlessly flail (from an aviation enthusiast perspective).
 
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kitplane01
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:56 am

aumaverick wrote:
keesje wrote:
As expected, there were also rumours it would have the long expected 18k thrust vectoring WS-15's.
The engines might look different, but it's blurry. W'll soon see better pictures.


How much weight would an additional cockpit add to the empty weight? The J-20 is already close to 2m longer and almost 3K kg heavier (full fuel) than the F-22 while also being some 250 mph slower. Will the new WS-10C or the WS-15 make up for any additional penalties that come with the additional pilot?


Unless they changed the external shape to add space (which I don't think they did. It would require lots of aero testing and lots of stealth testing) the real problem is that there is now less space for fuel. In fact, the maximum gross weight might have even gone down, since full fuel tanks weigh more than cockpits.
 
 
aumaverick
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:08 pm

keesje wrote:


Man, looking at those two photos, it looks like they really jammed that back seater into the existing space, with no expansion or change to the fuselage. I'd hate to be a backseater in that thing!

Come to think of it, what is one of the smallest backseats in a Gen4/5 fighter?
 
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keesje
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:20 pm

Image
https://amp.scmp.com/news/china/militar ... ight-world

Another photo with single piece canopy. One of them must be editted, why? The second is bigger & sharper.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:28 pm

keesje wrote:
Another photo with single piece canopy. One of them must be editted, why? The second is bigger & sharper
:cheerful:

Look at the tree line and the sharp difference in shade at the mid of the canopy. Also the difference in the prismatic reflection at the lower part off the canopy.

Can't zoom in enough to see how well they did with the rivet line.

bt
 
tphuang
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun Feb 13, 2022 11:51 am

J-20 two seater is not using WS-15 at this point. That's been tested on a separate prototype. This aircraft is a bigger deal than big think. If we assume that 5th gen aircraft will have unprecedented situation awareness then the additional pilot will allow it to utilize that more efficiently. That's the idea behind this. Think distributed AEW&C as something that you can have with this that F-35 is just not capable of.
 
angad84
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun Feb 13, 2022 8:05 pm

tphuang wrote:
Think distributed AEW&C as something that you can have with this that F-35 is just not capable of.

I'd think twice about this sentence.
 
aumaverick
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Feb 14, 2022 1:37 pm

tphuang wrote:
J-20 two seater is not using WS-15 at this point. That's been tested on a separate prototype. This aircraft is a bigger deal than big think. If we assume that 5th gen aircraft will have unprecedented situation awareness then the additional pilot will allow it to utilize that more efficiently. That's the idea behind this. Think distributed AEW&C as something that you can have with this that F-35 is just not capable of.


Either you overestimate the technology capabilities of the PLAF and what they've integrated into the J-20, or you are underestimating what the F-35 can do. If the Russians cannot build their own radars, I highly doubt the Chinese can develop and build the capabilities for the J-20, even with stolen technology blue prints. If its not a trainer, I see the real reason for the second seat as a need for a second person to manage all the electronic data and radar tracking information specifically because the computing power is lacking to allow for single-seat operations.
 
tphuang
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:31 pm

aumaverick wrote:
tphuang wrote:
J-20 two seater is not using WS-15 at this point. That's been tested on a separate prototype. This aircraft is a bigger deal than big think. If we assume that 5th gen aircraft will have unprecedented situation awareness then the additional pilot will allow it to utilize that more efficiently. That's the idea behind this. Think distributed AEW&C as something that you can have with this that F-35 is just not capable of.


Either you overestimate the technology capabilities of the PLAF and what they've integrated into the J-20, or you are underestimating what the F-35 can do. If the Russians cannot build their own radars, I highly doubt the Chinese can develop and build the capabilities for the J-20, even with stolen technology blue prints. If its not a trainer, I see the real reason for the second seat as a need for a second person to manage all the electronic data and radar tracking information specifically because the computing power is lacking to allow for single-seat operations.


They have 500 production fighter jets using AESA radar and Russia has close to 0. Why would you assume them to be worse than the Russians or using stolen technology when they have a great domestic electronics industry and have spent a lot of money in this area?

If you believe that 1 person in the cockpit is better than 0 at making use of data provided, then it would follow that 2 people are better than 1. And that the second person can be used to direct UCAVs, perform EW attack and command other aircraft based on data from sensor fusion.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:52 pm

tphuang wrote:
you believe that 1 person in the cockpit is better than 0 at making use of data provided, then it would follow that 2 people are better than 1


The second in the F-35 is an electronic box probably no larger than your home stereo amplifier. A real live person would require more fuel and complicated life support systems.

tphuang wrote:
And that the second person can be used to direct UCAVs, perform EW attack and command other aircraft based on data from sensor fusion.


Unless you are working with autonomous or semi-autonomous wing men drones, then it is better to have your drone swarm being controlled by dedicated AEW&C work station operators with their huge dual screen monitors, Bose noise canceling headphones, and nearby lav and galley.

bt
 
tphuang
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Feb 14, 2022 3:07 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Unless you are working with autonomous or semi-autonomous wing men drones, then it is better to have your drone swarm being controlled by dedicated AEW&C work station operators with their huge dual screen monitors, Bose noise canceling headphones, and nearby lav and galley.

bt


that is if you can actually keep the larger, non stealthy and slow moving aircraft from getting struck by one of the many long range missiles that are becoming more and more common Stealthy aircraft that can maneuver 9G and fly mach2+ are inherently a lot more survivable.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Mon Feb 14, 2022 4:07 pm

tphuang wrote:
that is if you can actually keep the larger, non stealthy and slow moving aircraft from getting struck by one of the many long range missiles that are becoming more and more common Stealthy aircraft


That is a dilemma. However, being farther away from the front line does not reduce the drone communication latency as much.

I see the two seat concept is viable for assistance in wing man management but only if software is not sufficient to take over that duty.

bt
 
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keesje
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Fri May 06, 2022 2:31 pm

bikerthai wrote:
tphuang wrote:
that is if you can actually keep the larger, non stealthy and slow moving aircraft from getting struck by one of the many long range missiles that are becoming more and more common Stealthy aircraft


That is a dilemma. However, being farther away from the front line does not reduce the drone communication latency as much.

I see the two seat concept is viable for assistance in wing man management but only if software is not sufficient to take over that duty.

bt


Would be the assumption for the F-15EX too, software not sufficient to take over wing man management?

The J20 is a pretty big aircraft, I always expected it to take the long range strike role, promoting a second man onboard, w'll see how the program develops.

Image
https://udn.com/news/story/10930/5713485
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Fri May 06, 2022 2:40 pm

keesje wrote:
Would be the assumption for the F-15EX too, software not sufficient to take over wing man management?


Possibly. I see the wingman role will include both air-air and air to ground operation.

So a two seat F-15EX can be useful for controlling ground attack drones, but I still see an F-35 as a preferred platform for air-air wingman coordinator.

Stealth allow you to say hidden while the enemy is busy with the wingman drones.

bt
 
texl1649
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 07, 2022 10:31 am

Isn’t the F-15EX going to be just single-seater though? I thought I read that is what USAF is buying. I don’t see a need for two people in a tactical aircraft moving forward unless the software/integration is just not real advanced. That’s a huge aircraft, did they ever figure out how to start making the right engines for it themselves?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 07, 2022 12:09 pm

For the replacement of the C, they only need the one seat. But they will keep the two seat configuration to reduce the cost of the re-design. Not sure if they will keep the second seat or remove it for weight.

Once they have enough F-35s, they plan to move the EX into the E squadron. They would then use the second seat.

Thus one of the reason why they reduced the number of EX. They said they will keep the E a little longer.

bt
 
Vintage
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 07, 2022 6:26 pm

The EX is a dinosaur, the perfect aircraft for fighting last year's war.
Worth it's weight in scrap in a 21st century war.

Note:
If NATO has to intervene in Ukraine, the F-15s will remain on the tarmac. The job will be done with cruise missiles, F-22s and F-35s.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 07, 2022 11:43 pm

Yep however for the near future the dinosaur will be the only frame in the inventory other than the buff to be fielding hypersonic missiles.

bt
 
johns624
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun May 08, 2022 4:24 pm

Vintage wrote:
If NATO has to intervene in Ukraine, the F-15s will remain on the tarmac. The job will be done with cruise missiles, F-22s and F-35s.
Maybe for the first few days, until the RuAF and SAMs are degraded, then they'll send in the bomb trucks.
 
Vintage
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun May 08, 2022 4:33 pm

johns624 wrote:
Vintage wrote:
If NATO has to intervene in Ukraine, the F-15s will remain on the tarmac. The job will be done with cruise missiles, F-22s and F-35s.
Maybe for the first few days, until the RuAF and SAMs are degraded, then they'll send in the bomb trucks.

Why not just use F-35s? And if they just need bomb trucks why not use B-52s, B1s, or B2s?
 
johns624
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun May 08, 2022 6:45 pm

Vintage wrote:
Why not just use F-35s?
Because a Strike Eagle can carry a lot more ordnance.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sun May 08, 2022 7:48 pm

The Ukraine theater is throwing a lot of assumptions in the dumpster. Ukraine has somewhere less than 50 TB-2 drones, they still have many flying after 2.5 months of fighting. It is a 1,500 lb MTOW, 40 foot wingspan 70 knot cruise, 120 knot max speed, 100 HP engine. This speed is akin to the Fairey Swordfish of WW2 which was a sitting duck back then. What has happened to anti aircraft systems that the TB-2 hasn't been destroyed in a few days.

Training is showing its importance, Ukraine has been far outnumbered and is using the same equipment, yet has managed to stay in the fight. I expected the S-300 and S-400's to have cleared the skies. Where have the Chinese obtained real world fighter and carrier experience? How does the J-20 fly after getting hit with 20 mm or 40 mm shells. We know that the A-10 can get home with entire surfaces destroyed, how does the J-20 do.

Turbine engines are a weak spot also.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 14, 2022 12:47 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
The Ukraine theater is throwing a lot of assumptions in the dumpster.
Not really. It is proving why the B-2 and F-111 mission profiles changed to hi-lo-hi. Flying below the radar horizon is fairly safe. This is why the west has always pumped so much money into AWACs.


JayinKitsap wrote:
What has happened to anti aircraft systems that the TB-2 hasn't been destroyed in a few days.
Russia clearly doesn't have an AWAC in the air to detect the TB-2 from above. This proves what the west always knew in that you need overlapping anti aircraft systems.
1) Airborne radar systems to detect low flying aircraft.
2) A small number of long range SAM systems.
3) A large number of short range SAM systems.


JayinKitsap wrote:
I expected the S-300 and S-400's to have cleared the skies.
There is a huge volume of video footage showing Ukraine jets flying at 100-200 feet. The S-300 systems might only have a 5-10 mile detection radar at that altitude which makes it easy to evade. Obviously at such low altitudes the combat radius of a fighter jet is fairly short but that doesn't seem to be much of an issue as it is fighting within country.

The one thing that surprised me is that I expected every Ukrainian aircraft to be bombed on the ground very early on. It appears Ukraine is simply operating their aircraft from normal roads and they just taxi the aircraft under a camo tent. I would assume they would just rotate between locations.

Russia has always advertised their mig-29 and su-25 road performance as a selling point. The mig-29 can even shut the air intakes and suck air from above to protect the engines from FOD.

Image

This is why Singapore has purchased F-35B. Once the F-35 is no longer bleeding edge in the 2030's I expect the F-35B to be the aircraft of choice for countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Taiwan and Romania.

China is big enough to not need this capability as they can place their bases far back.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 14, 2022 1:20 am

RJMAZ wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
What has happened to anti aircraft systems that the TB-2 hasn't been destroyed in a few days.
Russia clearly doesn't have an AWAC in the air to detect the TB-2 from above.


The TB-2 is even smaller than a Cessna. Remember that Cessna that landed in Red Square?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathias_Rust

bt
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: New J-20 Variant: A Two Seat Stealth Fighter

Sat May 14, 2022 6:02 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
What has happened to anti aircraft systems that the TB-2 hasn't been destroyed in a few days.
Russia clearly doesn't have an AWAC in the air to detect the TB-2 from above. This proves what the west always knew in that you need overlapping anti aircraft systems.
1) Airborne radar systems to detect low flying aircraft.
2) A small number of long range SAM systems.
3) A large number of short range SAM systems.


Does anyone know:
What is the normal operational altitude for the Ukrainian TB2s?
What was the normal operational altitude for the Azeri TB2s?

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