China’s AVIC is displaying a model of the FC-31 fifth-generation fighter for the first time at Dubai, having first aired the concept at Airshow China in Zhuhai last year.
A product of the Shenyang concern, the FC-31 is based to a large extent on that of a “J-31” prototype (31001) that has been flying since 2012, but shows some notable differences from that aircraft. The fins are shorter and more swept-back than those of the prototype, and an electro-optical sensor system is located under the nose. Aircraft 31001 made its first public appearance at last year’s Zhuhai show.
AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Stand 820) has reportedly developed the aircraft primarily for export, although there have been some suggestions that the aircraft could be intended for carrier operations. The prototype has a twin-wheel nose gear, a feature shared with most carrier-borne fighters. In the export arena, the aircraft is intended to appeal to nations seeking an F-35-style aircraft but at much lower cost.
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Photo via AINonline