Nanchang J-12

Fact for 11/7/2021


Defence Matrix

7/11/20213 min read

A competing design under the same programme was offered by the Nanchang Aircraft Factory. The aircraft was designated J-12. Lu Xiaopeng, Vice-Director of the factory's design department, was the project chief. The J-12 resembled a scaled-down version of the North American F-l 00 Super Sabre with some typical MiG features incorporated. The moderately swept wings were low-set, featuring a kinked trailing edge and a single tall boundary layer fence on each side at twothirds span; the tail unit comprised a sharply swept trapezoidal fin (plus a ventral fin) and low-set moderately swept stabilators
. The single 4,050-kgp (8,930-lbst) WP-6B non afterburning turbojet housed in the rear fuselage breathed through a circular nose intake similar to that of the MiG-19 but having sharp lips. The nose gear unit retracted forward, the main units inward into the fuselage (the landing gear was similar to that of the J-6). The armament consisted of two 30-mm cannons buried in the wing roots
In contrast with the J-ll, the normal takeoff weight was a mere 4,550 kg (10,030 Ib). This was due to the aircraft's small dimensions
and to the large-scale use of titanium alloy, chemical milling and honeycomb structures. Thus, the J-12 was not just a light fighter but a bantam fighter. The work proceeded at a remarkably fast pace. Development began in July 1969; the concept was finalised in August 1969 and prototype manufacturing started at the end of the year. Serial led '01 Red', the first prototype made its maiden flight on 26th December 1970; it was followed by the second prototype ('02 Red') and a static test article. The tests ran surprisingly smoothly and the results were generally encouraging; the aircraft was more agile than the J-6. On 10th September 1973 the J-12 was demonstrated to senior Chinese politicians and military officials at Nan Yuan airbase near Beijing
The original version was 10.644 m (34 ft 11/4 in) long less pitot and 3.706 m (12 ft F/2 in) high, with a wing span of 7.192 m (23 ft 7/2 in) and a wing area of 16 m2(172 sq ft). The empty weight was 3,172 kg (6,993 Ib) and the maximum TOW was 5,295 kg (11,673 Ib). Maximum level speed at 11,000 m (36,090 ft) was 1,472 km/h (914 mph), the service ceiling was 16,870 m (55,350 ft), the maximum rate of climb was 180 m/sec (3,540 ft/min) and the maximum range on internal fuel was estimated as 1,167 km (725 miles). The take-off run was 450 m (1,480 ft).
cated to a ventral position, folding upward to avoid ground damage (likewise in the manner of the J-7). Provisions were made for carrying two PL-2 AAMs. Again, three J-12s were built in the new configuration, including '145 Red' and '7112 Red'. The 'second maiden flight' took place in July 1975; by January 1977 the J-12 I had logged 61 hours 12 minutes in 135 test flights. A top speed of Mach 1.386 and a service ceiling of 17,410m (57,120 ft) were reached. Yet it was clear that the lightly armed J-12 with its relatively low performance would be unable to offer serious opposition to contemporary strike aircraft. Therefore in February 1978 the government finally pulled the plug on the programme

Source - China's Aviation Industry since 1951 - Yefim Gordon