Sunday, October 18, 2009

China’s fighter jets have home-made engines

Chinese made engines@Yaomin Peng

Alarm is on. NATO will keep more alert to China. Right before the 60th anniversary of this far-eastern country, NATO noted that China’s new produced fighters had been successfully equipped with China's own-made WS-10 engines. It finished the history of importing Russia’s AL-31-FN engines in this country.

The WS-10 engines were designed and developed by China Shengyang Liming Engine Corporation (CSLEC). The design started in 1987. Due to technical problems it took China more than 20 years to make WS-10 engines perfect.

The WS-10 engine has four different variants ranging from A to D. The WS-10A, WS-10C, and WS-10D are respectively used on J-10, J-11, and J-10C Chinese fighters, while the WS-10B is a variant for Chinese transport or commercial aircrafts. Now the WS-10D is being modified further to fit the F-12 fighter compatible to F-35 fighter, a 5th generation’s fighter of USA.

Let’s look back into the history in China. In 1998 six WS-10A engines were installed on J-10 fighters on trial for the first time. Two years later (Y2K), WS-10C engines began to replace AL-31-FN engines imported from Russia on some Russia-made Su-27 fighters (China named them J-11 fighters). In November of 2005, WS-10A engines were formally used on J-10 fighters. Now all of the WS-10 variants become finally perfect to power the J-10, the J-11, and J-10C fighters.

NATO has been watching closely the development of WS-10 engines. Some NATO experts said that China’s success on WS-10 engines had greatly upgraded this country’s aviation industry, and it even pushed China’s aviation industry into a new era.

Besides the WS-10 engine’s development, the developing plan for the J-10, J-11, and J-10C fighters can be mentioned as a Chinese version of Apollo Plan. According to the information collected from China, more than 150,000 people participated directly or indirectly into the development of these fighters. NATO believes the 20-year-plus of exploration on these fighters has largely improved Chinese fighters’ propulsion systems, stealth, and flying control systems, and it has paved the way for the trial production of the J-12 fighter, a Chinese 4th generation’s fighter, which is similar to F-35, a 5th generation’s fighter of the United States.

Alarm sounds. NATO has to be keeping alert.

Newest Update on Oct. 06, 2009: China Aviation Museum has just showed the China-made WS-10 engine (Military version FWS-10) (See the picture above). The museum said that the FWS-10s has been produced in batch and formally used for J-10 and J-11 fighters.