Startup, Stealth Week

Startup: Welcome to Stealth Week

The Chengdu J-20 preparing to undergo flight testing.

Last week, the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Chengdu completed its first test flight of its new J-20 fighter, China’s first entry into the Stealth Fighter category. This momentous event has occurred far sooner than most analysts were expecting, and serves as an effective bit of sabre-rattling, demonstrating that China fully intends to be a global superpower sooner rather than later.

But that little event got us thinking here at AtomicToasters. Stealth technology is nothing new. In essence, it’s just a more advanced form of camouflage, and those techniques have been in use all the way back to the American Revolution. So this week, we’re going to take a closer look at some of those technologies, and give a bit of perspective to China’s entry to the exclusive club of Stealth-capable nations. Got a suggestion? Send it to us at the tips line!

  • OA5599

    It's a lot easier to develop a fighter jet when you build on the same assembly lines that make pet food and children's toys.

    <img src="; width=500>

    • Gotta love the inverted chandeliers, too.

    • Deartháir

      I suspect the J-20 is mostly made of lead as well.

  • Also made in China:

    <img src="×400.jpg"&gt;

    Via (and I am not making this up):

    • Deartháir

      There's a fan club for that crap? It's a dressing gown (or bathrobe, or whatever you call it) worn backwards! And people think this is awesome?

      • It's casual wear without all the work!

        I agree, Snuggies are effin ridiculous. Slankets on the other hand…

  • That jet is ginormous, and I'd be interested in what its real capabilities are. Stealth can be defeated, but if it can supercruise or has a weapons load as deadly as the F-22s, we could be in for a world of hurt. Especially since the Raptor program has been cut short.

    I wonder if Gen. Norton Schwartz has called the president and Congress to let them know they are boneheads.

    • Deartháir

      Politics aside, I believe he actually did call up the former administration and chew them out for being idiots. I think it was The Hour with George Snuffleuppagus on CBC that they asked him about that, and he said that the Pentagon and the White House didn't really want his advice any more. He gave them a little too much of a piece of his mind. Oopsies!

    • highmileage_v1

      This thing looks like the bastard child of the Mig 1.44 and the YF-23. The PLA is proving good at stealing tech but I don't think their project management is quite up to snuff. Let's see if it makes it into production and what its demonstrated performance is like. It might be a total turkey or a nasty surprise. Yeah, cancelling the F22 build is probably a mistake.

      By the way, a stealth precursor would be the Ho 229. The SR-71 & A12 are both fairly stealthy as well.

    • Mr_Biggles

      What do you mean "we" could be in for a world of hurt? I always thought Canada was pretty much invisible. Oh wait, wrong post.