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J-6 Variants

Additional variations of the J-6 were made. To meet the the different demands of the military, the JZ-6, JJ-6, J-6III and J-6A were developed

JZ-6 Reconnaissance Version

The JZ-6 variant specializes in tactical reconnaissance over wide areas and was developed at the Shenyang Aircraft Factory in 1969. Two versions of the JZ-6 were developed and certified in December 1976. One aircraft was equipped with a high altitude camera pod, while the aircraft was equipped with a low-to-medium altitude camera pod.

Because of military services' urgent need for a supersonic reconnaissance aircraft the Shenyang Aircraft Factory began to modify the J-6 as a reconnaissance aircraft JZ-6 in 1966. This medium and low altitude day and night reconnaissance version was put into small-scale production in 1967. Two J-6s were modified as a high altitude day time reconnaissance aircraft in 1971 and one was modified to perform missions both at high altitude and medium-low altitude in 1975.

In January 1976 the State Council and the Military Commission of CCCPC approved the operational requirement for the JZ-6 reconnaissance aircraft and the MAI formally assigned the task of development to the Shenyang Aircraft Factory. The JZ-6 took pictures with an optical camera in day time and an infrared scanning camera at night.

One J-6 was modified as a demonstrator aircraft to meet the requirement of design certification. Beginning in April 1976, the certification of bays used for high altitude and medium-low altitude reconnaissance, and static test of forward fuselage and camera bays were carried out. These tests showed that they met design requirements. The design certification was approved by the Aero Products Certification Committee.

JJ-6 Fighter-trainer

The JJ-6 aircraft was a two-seat version of the J-6 and had dual uses for training and fighter missions. Development for the JJ-6 began in 1966 and was it was certified for use in December 1973.

The J-6 was put into mass production and delivered to the military services after 1963. Very soon it became the mainstay of the Air Force's attack capability. The military services urgently needed a type of trainer which was similar to the J-6 in performance in order to train pilots for J-6s. In October 1966 the MAI approved a design proposal for a derivative called the JJ-6, which was made jointly by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory and the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute. The prototype production began soon after approval. The design drawings were released in 1967 and the first flight happened on November 6, 1970. It was certificated for production in December 1973. A total of 634 JJ-6s were produced by the end of 1986.

The JJ-6 was the first supersonic jet fighter-trainer in China. The main modifications were: the two-pilot cockpit instead of single pilot one, a slight longer fuselage, one gun instead of three; disc brakes on the main landing gear, new compass, beacon, interphone and cockpit blinds for blind flying.


In order to increase the maximum speed of the J-6 at medium altitude the Shenyang Aircraft Factory began to develop a derivative called the J-6III in 1969. The J-6III variant had improvements in its maximum at intermediate altitudes and a higher service ceiling. The main modifications were: an uprated WP6A engine; a shorter wing span; increased chord length and consequently larger flaps and ailerons; addition of an adjustable shock cone in the center of the nose intake and a single hydraulic system instead dual. The first J-6 III flew on 06 August 1969. Its initial flight test showed that it was more manuverable, faster in climbing and turning and faster than the basic J-6.

But it also had severe problems. The design had not been evaluated by sufficient ground and flight tests, and it was put into mass production before certification. Despite the improved capabilities, the quality of the aircraft was negatively affected by the Great Cultural Revolution in 1968. Like its predecessor, the aircraft had to be returned for repairs. Hundreds of J-6 III s had to be returned to the factory because of oversensitivity of controls and missing rivets inside the intake. Dual hydraulic systems were restored. This took four years and heavy losses were incurred.

The lessons learned by the derivation were profound. They told that violating objective laws and scientific procedures would bring in punishment.

The J-6A Wll-Weather Fighter

The J-6A was an all-weather derivative of the basic J-6 developed by the Guizhou Aircraft Factory. Its main improvements were: the addition of an all-weather radar and "pili" 2 air-to-air missiles, installation of a rocket ejection escape system, relocation of the drag chute bay to a position above the tail cover; adoption of disk brakes on main landing gear, dual engine starting systems, and the addition of a tail warning system.

The development of the J-6A began in 1974 and its certification was completed in November 1976. It was certificated for small-scale production and for delivery to equip the military services in 1977.

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Page last modified: 20-11-2011 19:12:28 ZULU