Photos of China's J-20 stealth fighter prototype are all the rage on online military forums, after word emerged that another test flight was completed Sunday when officials in Beijing celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China's aviation industry.
An alleged J-20 prototype prepares to take off from the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute's airfield in Sichuan Province on Sunday. [Photo: Anonymous/Global Times]
Some of the online footage showed scores of military enthusiasts yelling when an aircraft flew over the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute's airfield in Sichuan Province, but it was unclear whether the plane was the J-20 prototype.
"The J-20 made several passes and waggled its wings (rolling the plane first to one side then to the other) to salute the crowd near the airfield," a witness told the Global Times on condition of anonymity, adding that the plane took off at around 4:25 pm and landed at about 5:50 pm.
As of press time, Chinese authorities had not commented on the issue, but the Xinhua News Agency posted another clip of the flight uploaded by Internet users.
The J-20 prototype made its 18-minute debut flight in Chengdu on January 11, when US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Beijing. Since then, it has been touted as a potential challenger to the US Air Force's F-22 Raptor, the world's only fifth-generation fighter jet.
Xu Yongling, one of China's top test pilots, said that if Sunday's test flight proved true, it would be more or less the same as the first test, but Xu noted that every test is one step closer to mass production.