Skip to comments.J-20 could be as famous as the Zero: Japanese magazine
Posted on 01/29/2014 7:58:18 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Although some consider Chinese fighters to be little more than less impressive copies of Russian designs, the J-20, China's first fifth-generation stealth fighter, has the potential to become one of the world's most iconic military aircraft like Japan's Mitsubishi A6M Zero during World War II, according to Aireview, a Japanese magazine covering military aviation news.
Before the Zero first saw action against the Russian-built I-15bis and I-16 fighters operated by the Republic of China Air Force over Chongqing in September 1940, most Western military experts had a similar view of the Japanese fighter as people have towards Chinese fighters today, the magazine said.
Claire Lee Chennault, the legendary leader of the Flying Tigers a group of American volunteer aviators recruited to help the ROC combat Japanese forces sent warning to Washington about the threat posed by the Zero at the time, however none of his supervisors believed that Japan was able to effectively design its own plane.
The United States learned first-hand the now legendary capabilities of the Japanese fighter when Zeros wiped out the US defenses at Pearl Harbor and Manila in December 1941. The Zero's performance in the early stages of the Pacific War earned it a formidable reputation. Aireview said China is now developing an advanced fighter which may in time earn a similar reputation.
The article also said Chinese fighters are currently only superior in their numbers but not in quality, adding that without active electronically scanned array radar, China's J-10A fighter is unlikely to defeat Japan's American-built F-15J in a dogfight. The J-10B, the upgraded version of the J-10A, is reported to be equipped with active electronically scanned array radar but China does not have enough early warning aircraft compared to the United States and Japan, the magazine said.
Meanwhile, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force has 17 early warning aircraft and China has 11 among them, only five are the most advanced Chinese KJ-2000 early warning planes. The People's Liberation Army Air Force and Navy Air Force have around 1,500 fighters, five times the number of Japan, however China would at present still not be able to win a decisive air battle against Japan. However, the article maintained that China will be able to fix these problems in the future.
The J-10B and its successor, the J-20, both have the potential to reach the level of fame as the Zero during World War II, the magazine said, if the Chinese aviation industry is capable of upgrading the aircraft's software. Aireview stated that the J-20, with a large fuselage, is likely to be designed as a long-range multi-role fighter which can also be used as a tactical bomber.
As for the J-31, China's second prototype stealth fighter, its main purpose is to be exported to developing nations which are not able to purchase the US-built F-35, the magazine added.
The Zero was an unarmored, frail POS. Once we had fighters that could maneuver reasonably well, it was shot down like a Sopwith Camel would’ve been.
Didn’t the US have an aircraft like this one (but chose the F35 instead), called the “Black Widow” or something?
I trust that thug Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin [Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин] like I trusted Josef Stalin.
My grandpa used his pocket knife to cut off a piece of a zero that had been shot down over Guam. I saw the scrap. Not sure what ever happened to it.
To this set of untrained eyes, that plane nevertheless, looks formidable.
The Zero was excellent and performed superbly. The problem with it was that the Japanese did not rapidly seek a successor.
That airplane is not a Japanese Zero.
Yep. The Zero’s rep was built on it being incredibly light for the engine it had, so it had decent performance. However, again as you note, once the US got planes with good performance into the Pacific, the Zero was badly overmatched.
It’s laughable that the article cites the Zero’s performance over Pearl Harbor, since there wasn’t any effective US air cover for them to encounter seeing as how it was a sneak attack against a force that didn’t know it was even part of the war.
Pilot training and attrition had something to do with it as well.
Is that not a J-20.
Maybe I misinterpreted your comment.
I do not have a military background, but it seems to me, we are very, very slow to recognize we are building China into an awesome opponent.
Some of the same planes that would've fought the Zeros at Pearl Harbor had there been warning did well against the Zeros in China.
Zeros offered zero protection to the pilot, so certainly not “excellent” as fighters. US planes had armor in critical areas of the cockpit. Japan eventually ran out of experienced pilots because of the Zero. They even ran out of instructors with experience in combat.
Two words: Barack Obama.
Also lack of self sealing fuel tanks caused the planes to blow up after being hit in the tank.
Bill Clinton and Loral Corp. Missles, airplanes whose plans came from stolen laptops by agents of the Red Menace.
Very true. The Japanese entered the war with outstanding pilots.
Traitors in the U.S. built up both the Russians and Chinese..
They stole the A-Bomb from US.. and probably any/most other decent mechanical device(s)..
Yep. Good, nimble platform to shoot from when no one was shooting back at you. But that obviously wasn’t reality.
General Chennault taught his pilots to attack the zero then dive away from them. Never dog fight them.
If the zero dove which for some reason they often did, the old P-40 had them.
They also eventually learned that the zero could only turn well in one direction. If he was on your tail, just dive and turn the way the zero couldn’t.
It did have a tremendous range which was valuable in the Pacific.
The Zero facilitated Japans military objectives from 1940 well into 1942. Yes it was lightly armored but I've never seen photos of a smiling American pilot showing off the dented seatback of his fighter struck by .50 class or larger bullets.
** like Japan’s Mitsubishi A6M Zero during World War II,**
I read years ago that the Zero design was stolen from a prototype aircraft that Howard Hughes designed. The Japanese took a look at it and liked it, so took lots of photos of it, then designed their Zero after it.
I have read that too. I have also read that it is not true.
I have no idea which is correct but it sure does look like the Hughes plane.
We had the F-22, which is exactly what that aircraft looks like.
Zeros had no armor to protect the pilot and did not have self-sealing fuel tanks.
Japanese pilots were trained to engage enemies in slow speed dogfights. Above 275 mph the Zero’s excellent handling diminished, making tight high speed turns nearly impossible. The Zero’s maximum safe dive speed was 350 mph. Above that speed the fighter lost the ability to roll and the skin on the wings would begin to wrinkle. It the pilot pushed harder the Zero might shed its wings.
The Zeke’s roll rate at any speed was slower than all U.S. fighters of WW II. A plane’s roll rate is important because all acrobatic maneuvers with the exception of the loop start with a roll. If a P-40 latched onto the tail of a Zeke and the Zeke banked to turn away, a quick reacting pilot could roll his Warhawk inside his target. For a brief period the unfortunate Zero would be under his guns and fly right through his line of fire.
Perhaps I’ll have to stand corrected, but my take on this is that the Clinton administration gave the Chinese access to just about everything we had in the way of technology.
If you look at their designs, whose aircraft do they look like, the Russian’s or our own? I haven’t myself taken a look at everything they have, but some of it looks pretty U.S.-like.
While it wasn’t top notch stuff, there was an aircraft manufacturing plant back in the Chicago region, and the Chinese bought everything at the plant after it shut down.
They moved every bit of that plant’s equipment to China. It wasn’t a top level plant, but as I understand it, it wasn’t shabby either. They gained a lot of inside information for dirt cheap.
Our leaders have sold us way way way down the river.
My take is that it looks an awful lot like it. It’s certainly in that class by the looks of it.
If it ever gained super-cruise, there should be some investigations and some people should be shot for treason.
America has sold a great deal of what we used to make, to China.
Our companies are in bed with China.
We need to recognize, we have sold out, and need to think of America first.
Just saying. China has a massive population, and will only grow, and grow, and grow.
We need to start to build up our own nation.
On another topic there, the P-40 was a much better aircraft than most people really understand. It was extremely maneuverable. It only appeared not to be because it was usually compared to a Zero or Oscar with were extremely light and turned like nothing else on earth.
But a P-40 was far more maneuverable than a 109. It wasn’t such a hit in Europe where the battles occurred at much higher altitudes. Didn’t make sense to upgrade it for that when P-47s and P-51s were being built already.
But it was a nasty little surprise to anyone who tried to fight it at lower altitudes.
But that design from the 30s held up very well and fought till the last day of the war.
All this China-bashing reminds me of how the Russians viewed the Japanese back in 1900. No way could funny little Japan stand up to the mighty Russian Empire.
Then came the Russo-Japanese war of 1904. The Japanese decisively beat the Russians. Decisively.
Now, I'm not saying that the Chinese could beat the US today, or tomorrow. But in 20 years...
When you say build up, I’m not sure exactly where you’re headed?
Population, military capabilities, military equipment...
Personally, I think we need to find a way to get Caucasians to reproduce in large numbers. If we don’t, we will lose this nation to the Leftists faster than we can say, GOPe.
The minute anyone chose an energy fight, as did Chennault in China, Zeros always lost. The Zero had the run it did because of its range and the mentality early in the war that the angles fight was what fighter pilots should excel in.
They tried to turn with Zeros and died. When they were taught how to fight a Zero, they won.
What is truly sad, is that it is an unintended result of our otherwise civilian manufacturing being exported to China, which is I believe creating a more dangerous China.
China and America have a differing view of equality.
America sees equality as a good thing. Most everything we do, is focused on it, and it is a cornerstone of how we look at the world.
China by contrast is not focused on equality. To China, how you great someone is dependent upon your relative status.
Up until now, America’s relative status to China has been high. The has meant that China has behaved this way.
Americans have (incorrectly) presumed this means the Chinese are our buddies.
Now I am not saying the Chinese can’t be our buddies. In fact I think there are very real things we hold in common. But we will see as China increases in relative power, the behavior of the country will also change.
China has five times America’s population.
We need to take China much more seriously than we do, and we also need to compete with China.
Bring back manufacturing from China.
Stop sending our manufacturing there.
America needs to build up our own nation.
And failed miserably in training replacements. One of the finest examples of better being the enemy of good enough.
thrust doesn’t looked vectored either. I wonder if that even flies or if it’s just a mock up for propaganda?
Bomber and fighter, I do not think so. If that were the case the F1-11 would have cleared the sky of North Vietnam and bombed them. It did not.
Fighters fight and bombers bomb. The do not do both effectively. A fighters mission is to get the crap out of the sky for the bombers. When you mix the mission you have an inferior fighter and an inferior bomber.
BUFFs will ruin your whole day after the fighters have cleared the way for them.
I’m just saying our own manufacturers, have moved in my opinion far too much “American” manufacturing to a nation with five times our population, and a government which still considers itself marxist.
Go in any store anymore. Pick up any item, turn it over, and look at where it was made.
America we need to make things, for ourselves.
It can be done and done well. I give you the F-15 Strike Eagle model. I give you the F-14D model. From times past I give you the P-47 and the F4U Corsair.
You bet. The Russians at least did not pay for the Japanese fleet that eventually defeated them.
But today the USA is shoveling money over to China. And China is converting a good amount of that money into modern armaments.
But who cares? Because of China I can buy a hammer for $2 instead of $3. However, I suspect that my grandchildren will have to care about China's rise, and care very much.
There's nothing like hearing a WW2 fighter open the throttle right over your head as you watch it climb to the clouds.Hot rods of the skies,absolutely awesome!
Personally I think the Zeros were a beautifull looking aircraft.However...."they made a good show as they went down in flames"
True, but what is their bomb load compared to the B-17, the B-24, the B-29 or of our era the B-52 or B1-B or the B2 bomber? Tons of ordinance on target is what makes a bomber a bomber.
I couldn’t agree more. Strategically, we’re hollowed out IMO.
I think it looks like the Northrup F-21 that lost the competition with the F-22.
I think you make a good point. From what I see, I think you’re description is more accurate.
Dur4ing WWII, Japan did not rotate their pilots. Their top pilots were continuously kept at the front lines, instead of some being rotated back to the flight schools to train up the next batch of pilots.
You are thinking of the YF-23 over which the YF-22 was chosen. The Yf-23, black widow, lacked vectored thrust but was otherwise superior IMHO. I hope they are developing it as a black project but the “Wonder” has likely screwed that up too. Good YouTube vids on the black widow. I recall the twin engine version of the P51 mustang was also called the black widow.