Sunday, October 2, 2011


The Jian-10 (J-10) is a multirole, all-weather fighter aircraft designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft was designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (611 Institute) and built by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of AVIC. The aircraft has been operational with the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) since 2003. The J-10 is available in the single-seat fighter variant J-10 and two-seater fighter-trainer variant J-10S. A further improved single-seat fighter variant designated J-10B reportedly made its maiden flight in February 2009.
The J-10 adopts a “tailless delta-canard” aerodynamic layout, which was originally developed for the cancelled J-9 fighter. The aircraft has the horizontal control surfaces moved forward to become a canard in front of the wing. When the aircraft pitches up, instead of forcing the tail down decreasing overall lift, the canard lifts the nose, increasing the overall lift. Because the canard is picking up the fresh air stream instead of the wake behind the main wing, the aircraft can achieve better control authority with a smaller-size control surface, thus resulting in less drag and less weight.
The aircraft employs an adjustable, chin-mounted air intake that supplies air to the single Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN afterburning turbofan jet engine. The upper portion of the air intake is incorporated with an intake ramp designed to generate a rearward leaning oblique shock wave to aid the inlet compression process. The ramp sits at an acute angle to deflect the intake air stream from the longitudinal direction. This design created a gap between the air intake and the forward fuselage, and requires six small beams to enhance the structure for high-speed flight. This air intake design was reportedly replaced by a diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI) on the latest J-10B variant.
The tailless delta-canard configuration is inherently aerodynamically unstable, which provides a high level of agility, particularly at supersonic speeds. However, this requires a sophisticated computerised control system, or “fly-by-wire” (FBW), to provide artificial stabilisation and gust elevation to give good control characteristics throughout the flight envelope. The J-10 uses a digital quadruplex (four-channel FBW system developed by the 611 Institute. The software for the FBW system was developed by the 611 Institute using ADA language.
The pilot sits in the cockpit located above the air intake and in front of the canard. The two-piece bubble canopy gives the pilot great vision at all directions, a vital feature during air-to-air combat. The onboard digital flight control computer ‘flies’ the aircraft for the pilot, providing automatic flight coordination and keeping the aircraft from entering potentially dangerous situations such as unintentional slops or skids. This therefore frees the pilot to concentrate on his intended tasks during the combat.
The fixed armament of the J-10 includes an internally-mounted Type 23-3 twin-barrel 23mm cannon, located on the port side of the front landing gear. The gas-operated cannon has a combat weight of 50.5kg, a length of 1,530mm, and a maximum rate of fire of 3,000~3,4000 rounds/minute. The cannon fires 320g, 23X200mm high-explosive/incendiary with tracer round and armour-piercing round, with a muzzle velocity of 715m/s. The cannon is electric-driven using 27V 8A DC.
The aircraft has 11 external stores stations for weapon carriage, three under each wing and five under the fuselage. The centreline under-fuselage station and the two inbound wing stations are pumped to carry drop tanks, with a 800 litre tank for the centreline station and a 1,700 litre tanks for each of the wing stations. The two under-fuselage stations at front (under air intake) could be used to carry various targeting or navigation pods for operations at night and in complex weather conditions

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