The Chinese are coming!!! March 22 2015
The Chinese are coming!!!
(not really, just wanted to say/write that).
The Chinese made J-15 is a very interesting bird. First of all, it is a carrier based multirole aircraft so it would represent (it is still fairly new) the front line air/naval power projection of China. As such, it would potentially be the machine facing off with the American F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (since it replaced the F-14).
Secondly, for the people who like airplanes, the J-15 would look suspiciously similar to another bird, to the Russian SU-33, which in turn is based on the SU-27 Flanker only that without the canards.
On paper, the J-15 Flying Shark (Fēishā in Chinese) looks more capable than the Super Hornet. Just out of curiosity I did a quick google/wilipedia "research" and came up with this: (it does not look good for the US)
****** J-15 *********
- Length: 21.9 m (72 ft)
- Wingspan: 14.7 m (48.25 ft)
- Wing area: 62.04 m2 (667.80 ft2)
-Max. takeoff weight: 33000 kg (72752 lb)
- Max Speed: Mach 2.4
- Range: 3500 km (2050 mi)
- Rate of climb: 325 m/s (64000 ft/min)
******* F/A-18E/F ******
- Length: 60 ft 1¼ in (18.31 m)
- Wingspan: 44 ft 8½ in (13.62 m)
- Wing area: 500 ft² (46.5 m²)
-Max. takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,937 kg)
- Max Speed: Mach 1.8
- Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km)
- Rate of climb: 44,882 ft/min (228 m/s)
However, in current conditions, the J-15 would not be able to take off with a practical load, having to compromise fuel and weapons, and in effect reducing its capabilities, in order to take off.
Turns out that the sole Chinese carrier does not operate catapults. Airplanes got to start their take off run on their own power across the deck and up a ski jump.
Interesting points....turns out that it is not enough to have a capable machine. One needs to have the infrastructure to allow it to be capable too.
Still, it is a good looking machine.