Chinese Engine Development


Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Google translation
In the program on August 26th, Song Xinzhi confirmed that the J20 is equipped with two engines

A few days ago, domestic military expert Song Xinzhi confirmed in his column Song Xinzhi Observation Room that the J20 fighter jet was equipped with two types of engines. The earlier-equipped engine was WS10B with a thrust of 14-15 tons and was equipped with a vector nozzle. The latter is equipped with the WS15 engine.


The second engine equipped with J20 is WS15.

Regarding the J20 engine, we actually discussed this topic many times last year. The engine used for the J20 from the test flight to the service is the WS10B. (About the journey of the J20 engine, there are links to many articles we published last year at the end of the article. The article has a more detailed introduction to WS10B and WS15). This is different from the imagination of many people. Most people on the Internet believe that the early J20 equipped with the Russian AL31 engine was later replaced with a domestic Taihang engine. Or the Taihang engine was used at the beginning, and then replaced with WS10B and so on. The only basis for these opinions to judge the engine model is the tail nozzle. Facts have proved that these judgments are completely unreliable. In the end, these views were all proved to be wrong.

WS10B also has vector thrust.

So, in this article, we will briefly review the development process of the J20 supporting engine. The first fifth-generation fighter jet J20 planned to be developed by my country is scheduled to fly for the first time in early 2011. The supporting engine is also the WS15 engine with an eleventh thrust-to-weight ratio. my country actually had a plan for the development of an engine with a push ratio eleven. By 2005, my country's push ratio eleven high-power core engine was nearly completed, and the WS15 engine was formally approved in early 2006. But in fact, the high-altitude platform test run of the high-propulsion core machine still failed to meet the standard at the time. Restricted by these technical conditions, if the two development stages of the verification machine and the prototype are completed step by step, the final development progress of the WS15 will not be able to keep up with the first flight of the J20 in 2011.

As the most important project of the Air Force, J20 cannot be delayed. Therefore, a term of transitional power plant was mentioned in the official documents at that time. This so-called transitional power device is the WS10B engine. Before the J20 used the WS15, the WS10B engine was used for transition.

This engine is actually a high-power core engine coupled with the fan and low-pressure turbine of the Taihang engine in series. In fact, this is how it was done in the development stage of the high-profile core machine. In fact, there is no need for supporting external ducts at the core machine stage, but Jiang Hepu's chief engineer at that time was very farsighted. In the development stage of the high-power core engine, the fan and low-pressure turbine of the Taihang engine were matched to the high-power core engine, and the work of the verification engine was done at the core engine stage, which greatly shortened the development cycle of subsequent engines.

At that time, around 2007, domestic official media reported a modified Taihang engine with an afterburner thrust of 155 kN and a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9.5. This engine was the WS10B engine.

The WS10B was originally planned for 15.5 tons of thrust.

In fact, the WS10B index at this time was set to be relatively high. In order to reduce the technical difficulty and speed up the progress, the technical index was lowered. In this way, the thrust of the WS10B in the intermediate state drops to about 97 kN below 10 tons, and the afterburner thrust is 144 kN. In the past two years, Shenzhen Satellite TV mentioned the performance of WS10B when reporting the J10C service. It is said that the thrust of the intermediate state exceeds 90 kN, and the thrust of afterburner is 144 kN. The more than 90 kN mentioned here is very particular, because speaking too clearly will directly expose the core machine of WS10B.

So why didn't you use Taihang engine or AL31 to test the J20 first, but must use the high-power core engine? The fundamental reason is that the fifth-generation fighter has much higher requirements for the intermediate state thrust of the engine than the previous generation engine. If the J20 wants to achieve supersonic cruise, the intermediate state thrust must be close to 10 tons. The intermediate state thrust of Taihang engine and AL31 engine is basically about 7.5 tons, which is impossible to achieve in any case, even if it is improved, it is completely impossible to achieve.

This is the view of a domestic engine chief.

Because the magnitude of improvement is equivalent to an increase from push ratio 8 to push ratio 10. This is completely impossible for the core machine of Taihang or AL31. Even if it can be improved, it will eventually be changed beyond recognition. This is equivalent to re-developing a generation of engines. In this case, there are ready-made high-power core engines that can be used. Therefore, the transitional power used by the J20 was also started on the high-power core machine.

In the end, the WS10B was fitted with a J20 demonstrator after only 300 hours of test flight, and the first flight was completed on January 11, 2011. The WS10B was not equipped with a vector nozzle at the beginning of the flight test. It was only equipped with a vector nozzle after the 2016 prototype. It was not equipped with a vector nozzle until the J20 test flight was completed, which means that the J20 used the vector thrust version of the WS10B when it was officially in service. At the Zhuhai Air Show in 2018, Chief Designer Yang Wei also euphemistically said in response to reporters that the J20 has used a vector thrust engine.

In the article published last year, we summarized the development of the J20 supporting engine into a three-step process. The first step is to push the core engine with the low-pressure end of the Taihang engine. The intermediate state thrust is about 97 kN and the afterburner thrust is 144 kN. . The model name at this stage is WS10B. The second step is to restore the technical parameters to the original design state. In the intermediate state, the thrust is 108 kN and the afterburning thrust is 156 kN, which is slightly higher than the original plan of 155 kN. This index can already catch up with the American F119 engine, model WS15.

The test flight began on the 2021 prototype in September 2017. The third step is to develop a new fan and low-pressure turbine to fully realize the potential of the high-power core machine. This is the full version of the WS15, with an afterburner thrust of about 18 tons. According to Song Xinzhi, the thrust-to-weight ratio of WS15 has reached 10.8 to 10.9, and its afterburner thrust fuel consumption rate is 1.98, which is much better than F119's 2.4. Most of our speculations last year have been confirmed by Song Xinzhi. As for the second step, it has not yet been fully confirmed. Perhaps there will be new news at this
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Google translation
In the program on August 26th, Song Xinzhi confirmed that the J20 is equipped with two engines

A few days ago, domestic military expert Song Xinzhi confirmed in his column Song Xinzhi Observation Room that the J20 fighter jet was equipped with two types of engines. The earlier-equipped engine was WS10B with a thrust of 14-15 tons and was equipped with a vector nozzle. The latter is equipped with the WS15 engine.


The second engine equipped with J20 is WS15.

Regarding the J20 engine, we actually discussed this topic many times last year. The engine used for the J20 from the test flight to the service is the WS10B. (About the journey of the J20 engine, there are links to many articles we published last year at the end of the article. The article has a more detailed introduction to WS10B and WS15). This is different from the imagination of many people. Most people on the Internet believe that the early J20 equipped with the Russian AL31 engine was later replaced with a domestic Taihang engine. Or the Taihang engine was used at the beginning, and then replaced with WS10B and so on. The only basis for these opinions to judge the engine model is the tail nozzle. Facts have proved that these judgments are completely unreliable. In the end, these views were all proved to be wrong.

WS10B also has vector thrust.

So, in this article, we will briefly review the development process of the J20 supporting engine. The first fifth-generation fighter jet J20 planned to be developed by my country is scheduled to fly for the first time in early 2011. The supporting engine is also the WS15 engine with an eleventh thrust-to-weight ratio. my country actually had a plan for the development of an engine with a push ratio eleven. By 2005, my country's push ratio eleven high-power core engine was nearly completed, and the WS15 engine was formally approved in early 2006. But in fact, the high-altitude platform test run of the high-propulsion core machine still failed to meet the standard at the time. Restricted by these technical conditions, if the two development stages of the verification machine and the prototype are completed step by step, the final development progress of the WS15 will not be able to keep up with the first flight of the J20 in 2011.

As the most important project of the Air Force, J20 cannot be delayed. Therefore, a term of transitional power plant was mentioned in the official documents at that time. This so-called transitional power device is the WS10B engine. Before the J20 used the WS15, the WS10B engine was used for transition.

This engine is actually a high-power core engine coupled with the fan and low-pressure turbine of the Taihang engine in series. In fact, this is how it was done in the development stage of the high-profile core machine. In fact, there is no need for supporting external ducts at the core machine stage, but Jiang Hepu's chief engineer at that time was very farsighted. In the development stage of the high-power core engine, the fan and low-pressure turbine of the Taihang engine were matched to the high-power core engine, and the work of the verification engine was done at the core engine stage, which greatly shortened the development cycle of subsequent engines.

At that time, around 2007, domestic official media reported a modified Taihang engine with an afterburner thrust of 155 kN and a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9.5. This engine was the WS10B engine.

The WS10B was originally planned for 15.5 tons of thrust.

In fact, the WS10B index at this time was set to be relatively high. In order to reduce the technical difficulty and speed up the progress, the technical index was lowered. In this way, the thrust of the WS10B in the intermediate state drops to about 97 kN below 10 tons, and the afterburner thrust is 144 kN. In the past two years, Shenzhen Satellite TV mentioned the performance of WS10B when reporting the J10C service. It is said that the thrust of the intermediate state exceeds 90 kN, and the thrust of afterburner is 144 kN. The more than 90 kN mentioned here is very particular, because speaking too clearly will directly expose the core machine of WS10B.

So why didn't you use Taihang engine or AL31 to test the J20 first, but must use the high-power core engine? The fundamental reason is that the fifth-generation fighter has much higher requirements for the intermediate state thrust of the engine than the previous generation engine. If the J20 wants to achieve supersonic cruise, the intermediate state thrust must be close to 10 tons. The intermediate state thrust of Taihang engine and AL31 engine is basically about 7.5 tons, which is impossible to achieve in any case, even if it is improved, it is completely impossible to achieve.

This is the view of a domestic engine chief.

Because the magnitude of improvement is equivalent to an increase from push ratio 8 to push ratio 10. This is completely impossible for the core machine of Taihang or AL31. Even if it can be improved, it will eventually be changed beyond recognition. This is equivalent to re-developing a generation of engines. In this case, there are ready-made high-power core engines that can be used. Therefore, the transitional power used by the J20 was also started on the high-power core machine.

In the end, the WS10B was fitted with a J20 demonstrator after only 300 hours of test flight, and the first flight was completed on January 11, 2011. The WS10B was not equipped with a vector nozzle at the beginning of the flight test. It was only equipped with a vector nozzle after the 2016 prototype. It was not equipped with a vector nozzle until the J20 test flight was completed, which means that the J20 used the vector thrust version of the WS10B when it was officially in service. At the Zhuhai Air Show in 2018, Chief Designer Yang Wei also euphemistically said in response to reporters that the J20 has used a vector thrust engine.

In the article published last year, we summarized the development of the J20 supporting engine into a three-step process. The first step is to push the core engine with the low-pressure end of the Taihang engine. The intermediate state thrust is about 97 kN and the afterburner thrust is 144 kN. . The model name at this stage is WS10B. The second step is to restore the technical parameters to the original design state. In the intermediate state, the thrust is 108 kN and the afterburning thrust is 156 kN, which is slightly higher than the original plan of 155 kN. This index can already catch up with the American F119 engine, model WS15.

The test flight began on the 2021 prototype in September 2017. The third step is to develop a new fan and low-pressure turbine to fully realize the potential of the high-power core machine. This is the full version of the WS15, with an afterburner thrust of about 18 tons. According to Song Xinzhi, the thrust-to-weight ratio of WS15 has reached 10.8 to 10.9, and its afterburner thrust fuel consumption rate is 1.98, which is much better than F119's 2.4. Most of our speculations last year have been confirmed by Song Xinzhi. As for the second step, it has not yet been fully confirmed. Perhaps there will be new news at this
This is pretty BS imo. Not only does it claims the J-20 has never used AL-31s, contradicting other (official?) sources we know that claim the J-20 uses AL-31s that have been domestically enhanced, but it also claims that the WS-10B uses a new core identical with the WS-15 but uses the fan and turbines stages of the WS-10, which doesn’t line up with any sensible understanding of the typical development pipeline for jet engines, given that the complex dependencies between the design of each stage in an engine inhibits modularity of stages from different engine designs (as the original designers of the WS-10 found out the hard way when they tried to modify the CFM-56 into a military turbofan).
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
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A recent notice posted by the Engine Design Department at Guiyang confirms that they are working on engines for naval fighters. This is indirect proof that an FC-31 variant will be the next generation naval fighter.
 

Figaro

Senior Member
Registered Member
I just hope naval variant based on FC-31 won't use these old Russian engines. Wish them luck!
Considering the current FC-31 is already using an improved variant of the WS-13, I would be very surprised if the J-35 does not initially use the same engine as well.
 

Xsizor

Senior Member
Registered Member
Considering the current FC-31 is already using an improved variant of the WS-13, I would be very surprised if the J-35 does not initially use the same engine as well.
I really hope they couple WS-19 development with J-35. Sure, Navalizing the engine is an extra step that may hamper development speed but for a change, the rewards associated with the risk endured are nothing short of overwhelming. An EJ200 F414 class reliable engine is a must for China.

Such a WS-19 could also help in the fast development of Carrier borne UAVs ( operating aboard Type 076).
 

free_6ix9ine

Junior Member
Registered Member
Here is an idea that I think China should explore. Instead of building large turbofan engines, why not develop a turbine electric hybrid engine. Electric engines are more efficient and simpler to make than large turbofans. The downside to electric is the battery. So instead of using batteries, why not use a small turbine engine from a helicopter to generate electricity which is used to power the electric engines which drive fan or propeller? Wouldnt this be a much simpler and elegant solution to leapfrog ahead?
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Here is an idea that I think China should explore. Instead of building large turbofan engines, why not develop a turbine electric hybrid engine. Electric engines are more efficient and simpler to make than large turbofans. The downside to electric is the battery. So instead of using batteries, why not use a small turbine engine from a helicopter to generate electricity which is used to power the electric engines which drive fan or propeller? Wouldnt this be a much simpler and elegant solution to leapfrog ahead?
If you’re using a secondary turbine to generate electricity to turn a fan, how is that an improvement from directly turning the fan with your primary turbine? You’re taking a hit on both conversion and weight efficiency in that setup.
 

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