China’s first stealth fighter has apparently made its first flight, according to to Chinese media reports. From Reuters:
The reports on Chinese blog and media sites, including at least one hosted by a state-run newspaper, could not be verified by Reuters.
They showed pictures of a fighter plane in flight, and some offered what were cast as running accounts of the J-20 stealth jet fighter taking off after midday local time for a short flight from an airport in Chengdu in southwestern China.
The website of the Global Times, a popular Chinese newspaper owned by the People’s Daily — the ruling Communist Party’s main paper — featured a brief report headlined, “J-20 first flight successful”, with a link to what it said were pictures of the flight (here).
The claims of a successful test flight for the advanced fighter come while U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visits Beijing, seeking to improve often tense military ties.