Future Single engine PLAAF fighter

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by Totoro, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Totoro
    Offline

    Totoro Captain
    VIP Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,091
    Likes Received:
    830
    So, we had J-10 entering service come 2005 or so, after serial production started around 2002/2003, and after first flight of the prototype was in 1998.

    Before that, we had J-7A flying in 1976. And the licenced MiG-21 labeled as J-7, which flew in 1966

    So... J-7 in 1966
    J-7A in 1976
    J-7E in 1990 (The big redesign)
    J-10A in 1998
    J-10B in 2008

    So... when are we due for another single engine fighter?

    There were 32 years between very first J-7 and J-10. If that's something to go by, should we see first flight of prototype of the plane to succeed J-10 around 2040?

    Are we in for another major variant of J-10 in between, to come very shortly? Around 2020, give or take.
    And if not, does that mean we're a bit more likely to see the whole new plane a bit earlier than 2040?

    J-7s allegedly couldn't fly more than 2-4 thousand hours. But they were purchased by PLAAF for almost 4 decades. One should expect more modern planes are designed to fly for longer. At least 4-8 thousand hours. Would that influence the timetable of successor's development? And if so, by how much?

    J10, especially of A variety, will be becoming increasingly old by 2035. First examples having flown approximately 7000 hours. How likely is it they will be replaced by some newer J10 variants? Or by some other planes altogether? Large twin engined planes? Or perhaps something in the class of FC-31?

    If they are to be replaced by a single engine plane, does it seem likely we'd have to see the first flight of such prototype by 2035? Or perhaps even a few years earlier? Entry into service in 2038 for example, means basically 8000 hours flown by the first J10s.

    What sort of design might we expect from a future single engine fighter? Something advanced, sure, but what compromises might be had, given in mind it's likely gonna be a somewhat cheaper addition to the larger, more expensive fighters?
     
    AleDucat likes this.
  2. Dizasta1
    Offline

    Dizasta1 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    959
    I personally do not think that China would pursue single engine fighters any longer. China is entering the realm of superpower sphere. It's ability to reach parts of the world by air, sea and land, makes it imperative for it to have twin engine fighters. Even with J-10s, I get the distinct impression that the engines it's developed or developing, are meant to give the J-10s the range and fuel efficiency it so badly desires. But having said that, it is plausible that Chinese aircraft design institutes may develop single engine fighters for exports.
     
    Yodello, KIENCHIN and Deino like this.
  3. Hyperwarp
    Offline

    Hyperwarp Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    Are suggesting that eventually the J-20 its future iterations will be supplemented by a FC-31 type fighter replacing the J-10?
     
  4. Viktor Jav
    Offline

    Viktor Jav Junior Member
    Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    515
    Not necessarily, a fighter's range is dictated by fuel load and engine efficiency not how many engine it has. Depending on the kind of foreign policy that China choose, it is very unfeasible for long range fighters to take off directly from China to whatever part of the world that China wants to intervene in. More likely carrier born fighters will be used, that or China would have to establish a forward presence base. Which if that be the case single engine fighters can still be used.
     
    Tirdent and TerraN_EmpirE like this.
  5. TerraN_EmpirE
    Offline

    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,721
    Likes Received:
    9,114
    I think the twin engines choice from here on is dictated by the power of available engines for the PRC.
    The Russians have traditional been the source for PRC aircraft but the Chinese seem a bit weary of relying on them. This is driving a preference for indigenous designs when practical.
    Fifth gens are heavier machines, in order to get the type of performance the PLAAF and now PLANAF are used to for there fighters they will need a powerful engine set.
    If they can get that from a single engine then you will see single engines if not. Then the twins.
     
  6. latenlazy
    Online

    latenlazy Colonel

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,029
    Likes Received:
    3,049
    If the WS-19 is a serious project and the J-31 ends up becoming the Lo end of the PLAAF’s fighter inventory then I suspect we won’t see another single engine design for at least another generation. All the more so because the engine demands for a 5th generation single engine fighter, given how many features they have to carry, might be much greater than what China’s engine technologies can currently deliver in a single unit.
     
    Yodello and TerraN_EmpirE like this.
  7. TerraN_EmpirE
    Offline

    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,721
    Likes Received:
    9,114
    Fuel efficiency favors single engines as does cost. Twin engines advantage is supposed to be reliability where in if one engine flamed out you have the second that can keep going.
    The reason the PLAAF is investing in domestic engines for J10 is likely to be more because the current engine is Russian taken from the SU27. As is they are dependent on designing aircraft around a Russian power plant. That means that Russia has a vote of PRC military affaires. If they don't like what they see they can kill engine exports reducing supply and potentially strangling operations.
    Sound familiar Dizasta1?
    Yup.
    Unless the PRC can make a breakthrough in design and surpass the Russian Imports I think you are correct. As the weight limits placed by the fifth gen and the power plant to get the desired results would force compromises forcing a lighter payload and mass machine.
     
    AleDucat likes this.
  8. latenlazy
    Online

    latenlazy Colonel

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,029
    Likes Received:
    3,049
    If certain rumours about the WS-15’s development are to be believed China may not be too far off from achieving parity (or at least near parity) with an F135 class engine, but probably a half step too slow to deliver something that could used for a single engine Lo fighter in the next decade.
     
  9. TerraN_EmpirE
    Offline

    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,721
    Likes Received:
    9,114
    It's not just the power it's the Service life, reliability and production. Even if they match all four. The U.S. is already working on the next engine for F35 and beyond with variable cycle engine technology.
     
    Tirdent and AleDucat like this.
  10. latenlazy
    Online

    latenlazy Colonel

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,029
    Likes Received:
    3,049
    Not all of those parameters need to be optimal to bring a design into production. Some of those parameters are amenable to being a work in progess through a product’s lifespan.

    I didn’t mean to turn this conversation into a comparison with the US (where the US is in its engine technology has very little to do with whether China introduces another single engine fighter design), but if we’re going to make mention of this point I think it’s worth noting that China has probably already started preliminary development of its own post 5th generation engine. As I understand the state of Chinese jet engine R&D right now, the component technologies behind the WS-15 are already or more less established and, if the most aggressive rumours about the state of the WS-15’s development are true, the component technologies for an uprated version are as well, or soon to be, while work on the component technologies for the next engine has already started. That’s the most optimistic assessment though, and not necessarily my own (though I’m less doubtful of China’s ability to reach and acquire the basic science and technologies involved than I am in their ability to put all the components together into a production ready design in a smooth and timely fashion).
     
    #10 latenlazy, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    TerraN_EmpirE likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page