Rare High-Rez Photos Of Chinese J-10 And J-20 Fighters Right Off The Factory | Aviation

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A primer-coated J-20 prepares to land at the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group test facility. (Photo: Reader’s submission)

Let’s discuss the details we can spot in the exclusive photos captured near the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group test facility.

A reader of The Aviationist, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent us some very interesting photos of Chinese J-10 and J-20 fighter jets right off the production lines. The photos were taken during a two-day timeframe in November 2023 near the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group test facility in Chengdu and show aircraft of the latest production batches.

The photos are interesting as most of the images of Chinese aircraft during test flights are grainy or low resolution because, while aviation photography is common practice among many Chinese enthusiasts, it is not always well tolerated. Chinese spotters often face backlash from their own citizens when posting high-quality pictures online, get reported by locals to the police when around an airfield with a camera, and sometimes they even get detained for short periods of time.

In this article we will analyze what can be seen in the images, thanks to the help of Andreas Rupprecht, one of the world’s most authoritative experts on China’s military aviation.

J-20 “Mighty Dragon”

Let’s start from the J-20, China’s first operational stealth fighter.

The development of the J-20 started more or less in the 2006-2007 timeframe, with the goal to design a warplane that would be able to compete with US fighters and with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force endorsing Chengdu’s proposal in 2008. The prototype flew for the first time few years later, in 2011, followed by at least two other prototypes which showed multiple changes, until the design was finalized for mass production in 2017 and the J-20 was inducted into service.

The J-20 assigned to the 97th Air Brigade at Dazu air base. (Photo: Reader’s submission)

Since 2015 reports noted similarities in…

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