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New stealth fighter hot among military fans

(China Daily)

10:54, November 02, 2012

J-31stealth fighter

Chinese military fans are excited by the news that the country's second stealth fighter prototype has made its maiden flight. Meanwhile, experts and observers considered the possibility that the aircraft might be deployed on an aircraft carrier.

Thousands of military enthusiasts were online on Wednesday morning, hoping to "witness" the first test flight of the J-31, which had conducted two high-speed taxiing tests on Tuesday morning and was expected to take off on Wednesday.

Without an official code name, the prototype bears the provisional designation J-31 and has "31001" painted on both sides under its cockpit.

An unknown number of enthusiasts on Wednesday morning were stationed outside an airfield of the Shenyang Aircraft Corp, which belongs to the Aviation Industry Corp of China and is a major designer and manufacturer for the Chinese air force. The witnesses published almost all details of the test flight after it began at 10:32 am.

Photos that showed the J-31 in flight and accompanied by two J-11BS fighters were posted on major Chinese military forums.

"It is amazing! Now China has become the second nation, after the United States, to simultaneously develop two fifth-generation fighters," a netizen using the name wenwutuan said on cjdby.net, one of China's biggest military websites.

"Today is absolutely a historic day," said another Internet user, dzz2002. "Though we still have a long way to go before calling China a strong aviation power, we can proudly say that we have made great strides in achieving this goal."

According to the accounts of military enthusiasts who claimed to witness the test and their photos, the radar-evading aircraft conducted a 10-minute flight with its landing gear in the lowered position.

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