Defense Update VideoReport presents a remix depicting selected moments from J-20 test flights, captured by Chinese amateur photographers on the Chengdu airfield perimeter. A recent shot captured another interesting aspect of the aircraft – the opened cover of the main weapon’s bay.
The storage and release of weapons from these containers seems to be different from the method used by US aircraft designers. The J20 seems to use expandable weapons mounts that position the weapon into the air stream before launch, similar to a conventional (non stealth) pylon. For the fuselage weapon bay the panel design is also different from the US method employed in the F-22, F-35 and B-2 – the Chinese stealth fighter use folding panels that clear much larger opening for the weapon’s bay.
Although this method generates considerable drag and radar reflection, the larger, unobstructed opening is more suitable to accomodate outsized ordnance. This method also clears more space for multiple weapons, unlike the confined storage space used in the F-35 that leaves only minimal clearance for specific weapons systems.