History EditThe Chinese aviation industry was founded after the People´s Republic of China was founded with the help of the Soviets. Soon they saw themselves in a position to realize their own aircraft developments, in addition to the license built Soviet designs. One of these ambitious projects was the Shenyang J-8, which was designed as a single seat interceptor, with work beginning in 1954. A licensed Soviet Mikoyan E-152M was built under this designation, in 1969. The E-152M had a typical design for this time with a central air intake, a slender fuselage and two redesigned Tumanski R-11-engines and delta wings. It was the basis for new developments.
The first flight of the J-8 prototype took place on 5th July 1969, flown by testpilot Yin Yuhan. It received the NATO codename "Finback" and absolved radical development in the following 35 years.
In 1979 construction was started on 3 pre-series aircraft. One of the three was destroyed before the first flight by a pre series J-8, which occurred on 24th April 1981. This was followed on 12 June 1984 by the first flight of one of six prototypes of the J-8 II [N 1] This was in turn followed in 1985 by the start of production of early model J-8s.
The J-8 II version, known to NATO as 'Finback-B', is powered by a pair of Liyang Wopen-13A turbojets, each with a dry thrust of 9,590 lb st (42.66 kN), which increases to 14,815 lb st (65.90 kN) with afterburning. These give the type a maximum speed of 1,453 mph (2,338 km/h), equal to Mach 2.20, at 36,090 ft (11,000 m), and an initial climb rate of 39,370 ft 12,000 m) per minute. Service ceiling is 66,275 ft (20,200 m), and combat radius on a typical mission is 497 miles (800 km). Empty weight is 21,649 lb (9,820 kg), increasing to a maximum of 39,242 lb (17,800 kg). Armament consists of a single ventral mounted Type 23-3 twin barrel cannon plus various stores carried on seven hardpoints.
- ↑ Only four were intended for flight. The other two were built solely for ground testing.