well late next year is also possible, and if this project is indeed corollated with the carrier-borne 4th gen, then maiden flight in 2020 fits both Sun Cong's alleged quote that the new carrier fighter will show up in 2020; as well as PB19980515 (who claims to have worked on the J-15 and is historically a quite reliable source of information)'s quotes from 超级大本营. He said that the new carrier fighter will have its maiden flight either during the second half of 2019 (well that's obviously not gonna happen) or during the first half of 2020. This quote, fromThat means it'll be a wait until 2021 or 2022 before the J-XY could take flight. But perhaps things might be faster since it is allegedly a development of the FC-31 airframe.
I admit that I'm kinda reaching at this point, but all of these information seems to more or less point at the same conclusion: SAC's new project is likely to be China's 4th gen carrier fighter