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Discussion in 'Air Force' started by RedSky, Aug 21, 2011.
Or off hours.
You would still see unfinished parts and components all over the place if it was just a down shift. It’s the lack of work in progress pieces that is far more concerning than the lack of people.
They are assembling ONE prototype in a workshop. What did you expect it to look like? A car assembly line?
I would want to point out that the picture specifically seems to show an area specifically for FC-31, considering the rather large Gyrfalcon logo overlooking that area.
I'm not sure why we have reason to suspect that is an area for mass production; for all we know it could very well be a small workshop intended to build single airframes for new demonstrator or prototypes at a time.
It was probably done at an R&D line to build the Prototype. As such they are likely a specialist line just for one off birds. Also keep in mind J31 is a VLO concept. Quality control is an absolute if you want to test its RCS features. Modern aviation manufacturing is becoming more and more virtual “clean room”
As I said, unless this is a brand new facility built especially for J31 mass production, then this would lack of activity would be concerning.
In most cases, prototypes are assembled in regular production floors. All those machinery are highly specialised and extreme expensive, with finite useful lives. As such it is rare to have them just sitting idling around.
Why could possibly make you think Shenyang had built a brand new facility to 'mass-produce' J-31, when its development is far from over?
And what expensive machinery are you referring to? I see a bunch of fixtures for sub-component assembly. Basically gloried frames to securely hold up fuselage pieces so workers can use powered screw drivers to bolt a few things down and do some wiring. All the expensive machining of metal parts, the curing of composites, not to mention the production of avionics and sensors - things that actually require expensive machinery - are done elsewhere.
And where else are they supposed to put these 'spare parts'? Take them off the fixtures and cart them to a warehouse, only to cart them back next day and go through the trouble of setting them up again on the fixtures?
... I don't think we have any reason to suspect that the picture depicts a facility which is either "brand new" or intended to "mass produce" anything. I would even ask why we have reason to think the picture depicts a "facility" specifically for FC-31.
For all we know, the picture might be depicting a single small building/warehouse that has undergone multiple rearrangements in the past for different purposes, with its current purpose being for producing a few number of custom FC-31 aircraft.
Or the picture might be showing a small part of a specific section of a larger production building, with this specific section of the building being rearranged specifically for building a small number of FC-31s, and the rest of the building (which I do not believe is depicted) could be busying building Flankers or something.
From the windows, I believe the picture was taken at dusk, so probably the plant was shut down for the night? and by the way SAC did build a new, quite large facility last year(from google earth's pics the facility seems to be finished now, or at least so on the outside).I dunno what the new facility is for tho
According to the Weibo user who posted the image, this is the radar cross-section (RCS) model for J-31...
Other RCS models as seen by satellite...