MENG J-20 1/48 /LS-002/ is the latest addition to the notorious modeling company. This time, we are shifting a bit from the path well known though. Instead of numerous repeating kits, like Super Hornets, Phantoms, Spitfires, etc., MENG boldly decided to release one of their own. And by that we mean Chinese-made. Only Trumpeter/Hobbyboss did that with success, but considering the quality gap in between MENG and the latter, we must say that this is rather grand news.
J-20 is a fifth generation stealth jet. It is twin-engine, single-seat, supersonic fighter, designed by Chengdu in China. It is a canard equipped bird, with something resembling dual-delta wing. The weapons bays are made just like on the F-22 – on the belly and also on the sides. J-20 is flying for couple years in Chinese airshows, but how is the platform actually working is not known. Actually, as it should be, considering it is Stealth, and nobody but its own custodians should be aware of its activities.
Chengdu might be a company not known by many in the west, but they come with traditions in aircraft design and production. J-20 is also considered the third active fifth generation jet in the World and all mentioned means something. MENG’s effort to make this release a serious thing is also to be praised. From what we know, they put the respective effort into their kit, equipping it with a lot of features. Among these are slats/flaps and canards – all positionable, movable vertical stabs, armaments bays, canopy and landing gear, all in opened or closed position. In addition, there are missiles and a ladder, as well as a pilot included. Thus far, that is what we know about their J-20.
We also know that the release is imminent and is about to happen in about a month time. An interesting fact about the Stealth jet from China are its engines. This is what we have no clear information about yet. Engines are the weakest point in all 5th gen fighters designs, besides the ones made in USA. All struggle with that, which makes the jets currently fifth gen equipped with technically 4th gen engines/nozzles. Weakest point in every system defines the whole system, therefore no 5th gen engine, no 5th gen fighter.
J-20 by Chengdu has been spotted with the new engines, but most of the time, it has been seen with the old designs, probably inherited by license-built Flanker versions in China. Whether or not MENG will provide both, we are yet to discover. Nevertheless, after a series of interesting releases like their latest Phantom, a new Apache and others, MENG will shoot for their domestic airplane market for a change. That will inevitably include us, their regular clients in the other Hemisphere. J-20 is a pretty big bird and will be a beautiful add-on to any collection in 48th scale. The unusual thing here is… thus far J-20 Stealth is only used in China. But that makes it a tad more interesting compared to what we are used to, isn’t it?