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.