Friday was the 50th anniversary of the first flight of an aircraft of domestic Chinese design, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation’s J-8 interceptor, and to commemorate the event, the state-owned company released a promotional video celebrating its various aviation achievements over the last half-century.
On that video was a familiar reel: a computer-generated clip of a flying wing drone operating from an aircraft carrier. The clip previously featured at last year’s Zhuhai Airshow, but now military observers are giving it a bit more attention than they did then, the Global Times reported Sunday.
#Chine: le projet de #drone #furtif en forme d'aile volante conçu pour un porte-avion avance.— Claude Fouquet (@ClaudeFP) July 9, 2019
De nouvelles images apparaissent dans une #video de Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.
Il ressemble beaucoup au #nEUROn de @Dassault_OnAir et au X-47B de @northropgrumman ...#Defense pic.twitter.com/lTkczxhUNx
Shenyang also designed China’s first carrier-borne aircraft, the J-15, and is working on the J-31 or FC-31, a fifth-generation stealth aircraft that will also fly from carriers.
China’s no stranger to either flying wing designs on its drones or to stealth drones. The People’s Liberation Army has also begun to test the Sky Hawk drone as well as the CH-7, the latter of which is also purported to operate from carriers. Shenyang is also rumored to have developed the Sharp Sword flying wing stealth drone, Global Times noted.
Other countries have begun developing flying wing drones too, with the US testing the X-47B and MQ-25 Stingray, the latter of which will also operate from aircraft carriers. The design easily lends itself to subsonic cruising as well as a low radar profile.