Shenyang J-13

Unlike the other Chinese fighters (J-8, J-9, J-11 and J-12), Shenyang J-13 was developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Co. as a private initiative. At the turn of 1971/72 the No. 601 Research Institute tasked SAC with holding a survey in 1972 in order to find out what kind of aircraft the Air Force and Navy wanted. The survey, which involved 12 PLAAF and PLANAF units, contin­ued until late 1974. In early 1974 SAC also began probing the PLAAF leadership with a view to promoting their concept. As a result of this preparatory work a formal operational requirement for a fighter designated Shenyang J-13 was issued on 24th April 1976.

Apart from creating a multi-role combat aircraft able to compete with state-of-tlne-art foreign designs on the world weapons market, the designers at Shenyang apparently strove to get ahead of their competitors from Chengdu developing the J-9. Unfortunately they ran into the same technical problems as the com­petitors, the greatest problem being the lack of a suitable engine. Since the requirements to which the two fighters were being developed were basically identical, so were the proposed engines – the WS-6 was considered the first choice in June 1976, with the WS-9 (Rolls- Royce Spey 202) as an option. Later, the R29B-300 also came into consideration.

Large-scale research was done on the fight­er’s layout, about 20 possible configurations being considered and more than 3,000 wind tunnel hours being logged from early 1973. Known configurations show a single-engined aircraft with shoulder-mounted wings and a conventional tail featuring either small lateral air intakes or a single large ventral intake; the latter gave rise to the nickname ‘Chinese F-16’ when information about the project leaked into the Internet much later. Anyway, the powerplant issue was never resolved and in May 1981 the government finally cancelled the J-13 programme.

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.