A year after unveiling the FC-31 stealth fighter, Chinese officials say a production version of the fifth-generation aircraft — the country’s answer to the American-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — will fly by 2019, according to multiple news reports.
Li Yuhai, deputy general manager at China’s Aviation Industry Corp., known as Avic, and Lin Peng, the FC-31’s chief designer, were on hand at the Dubai Airshow this week to talk about the program.
Tony Osborne, a reporter for Aviation Week & Space Technology, reported:
“With a first flight planned for 2019, an initial operating capability would occur in 2022 or 2023, and the aircraft would be fully operational two years later.”
The plane is made by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of Avic, and resembles the U.S. military’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., though with two engines rather than one. The pair of Russian-made Klimov RD-93 engines are a variant of the propulsion systems found on the Mikoyan MiG-29.
Full article: China to Fly FC-31 Stealth Fighter by 2019: Reports (Defense Tech)