ANALYSIS: China advances on fighter front

The long-awaited appearance at Airshow China 2016 of the Chengdu J-20 was anti-climactic, but served to bolster the mystique around one of the 21st Century’s most iconic fighter designs. Supporting the opening ceremony, two J-20s roared down the runway at several hundred feet and performed a vertical split. One aircraft departed immediately, but its partner stuck around to perform a few high-g turns before a high-speed climb out, disappearing into China’s hazy skies. The type did not appear in the static display, there were no models or pictures in the exhibition hall, and no comment from AVIC officials.

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