|The most significant change in the new prototype is the reshaped cockpit canopy, which provides the pilot with greater visibility. The lack of othergreat design changes suggest that "2017" is very close to the final J-20 production configuration.|
Eighth J-20 prototype stealth fighter recently conducted its first flight. It's possible that mass production of the J-20 could begin in 2016.
Cabin cap of new J-20 prototype an attractive improvement, which makes it better stealth according to expert.
"2017" prototype heralds the end of an era for J-20 fighter jet testing, start of another era.
Building The World's Second Stealth Air Force.
|Prototype "2017" is the eighth J-20 stealth fighter, its most noticeable exterior improvement is a redesigned cockpit canopy. The ceremony surrounding its November 24, 2015 maiden flight (note brightly dressed civilians in the background) suggests that the J-20 project has hit a major milestone, with LRIP likely to start next year.|
J-20 2017 vs. 2011 canopy
The most significant change in the new prototype is the reshaped cockpit canopy, which provides the pilot with greater visibility.
By the way, the multi-colored glass cockpit canopy on the J-20 is transparent RAM and probably Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).
Comparison picture between very first prototype 2001 to the last 2017
The lack of other great design changes suggest that "2017" is very close to the final J-20 production configuration. Since "2017" is likely the last J-20 prototype, low rate initial production (LRIP) of the J-20 is likely to being next year. Assuming serial production, the first squadron of J-20s will start flying in 2017, about six years after the J-20's first flight in January 2011.
People.com.cn says in its report that the maiden test flight of J-20 prototype no. 2017 on November 24, a little over 2 months after that of J-20 prototype no. 2016 on September 18 proves that the development of J-20 heavy stealth fighter jet is at its final stage according to a TV interview with military expert Fu Qianshao at Beijing TV station.
Mr. Fu says that metal coating has been added to the cabin cap of the new prototype to make it better stealth.
The test flights of two new prototypes at such a short interval with no significant difference between them proves that the test flights of J-20s have been going on smoothly and all the functions of J-20 have been found satisfactory.
J-20 no. 2001 and 2002 as experimental prototypes, no. 2011 and 2012 as engineering samples with quite a few changes and nos 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as prototypes with no significant changes in the last two prototypes.
That proves J-20 is gradually finalized.