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J-6 (Jian-6 Fighter aircraft 6) / F-6
Type-59 / DF-102 / DF-103 / DF-105

The F-6 (Jianjiji-6 Fighter aircraft 6) is the Chinese version of the MiG-19, which was still in production in China in the mid-1990s. The J-6, which began flight tests in 1958, was China's first supersonic jet fighter. The Shenyang J-6 MiG-19PF and MiG-19SF were also known as Type-59 and later called Dong Feng 102 (DF-102). This initial Dong Feng fighter was followed by two other East Wind fighters based on the MiG-19: A MiG-19PF derivative with a limited all-weather capability was called Dong Feng 103 but also known as Type 59A and the MiG-19PM all weather version, built by Nanchang, initially designated Dong Feng 105 or otherwise Type 59B.

The original design of the J-6 supersonic fighter built by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory in March, 1958 was the Soviet MiG-19. The development of the MiG-19 was begun in the Soviet Union in 1951. It reached the speed of sound in flight test at the end of 1952. Significant improvements were incorporated thereafter. In September 1953 M1.4 was reached in flight test. Flight test was completed at the end of 1954 and the delivery to the military services began in mid-1955. It used a nose intake, 2 turbojet engines, a high sweptback and tapered wing and movable tailplane. Maximum speed was 1,452 km / h, service ceiling 17,500 m and maximum range 2,200 km.

In the late 1950s, China received the right to issue licenses for the MiG-19, MiG-19C and MiG-19P; engine - RD - 9B. The aircraft was in China the designation J-6 (export F-6); WP-6 engine. In April 1958, the aircraft design office proposed the design for the DF-103 [Dong Feng / East Wind] fighter plane with all-weather operational capability. The tentative plans called for aircraft's design value of a maximum level speed of Mach 1.4, a ceiling of 17,000 meters, a climb rate greater than 70 meters/seconds, a range of 1,000 kilometers, a cruise duration 1 hour 20 minute. The aircraft's power unit is a Soviet-made RD-9? turbojet engine.

The F-6 has six attachment points for external stores (three on each wing). The outboard wing stations can carry a 250 kg bomb. The outboard wing stations can also carry a 760 or 400 liter drop tank or the CAA-1b AAM. The inboard wing stations can carry practice bombs or rocket pods with either 8 x 57mm, 16 x 57mm, or 7 x 90mm rockets. Equipped with two WP6 turbojet engines, had a maximum speed of 1,452 km/h, a service ceiling of 17,500 m, and maximum range of 2,200 km. Like the J-5, the J-6's inlets were in the nose of the aircraft.

To break the speed of sound, a swept wing design was adopted. Also, the thickness of the wings was reduced to reduce drag. The WP6 engine's configuration had was modified as well, utilizing axial-flow in its air intake as a opposed to centrifugal-flow. This improved the propulsion efficiency of the engine at supersonic speeds. Though both the thrust and afterburner thrust of the WP6 engine was the same as the WP5, the WP6 was 30% lighter in weight and had a 48% smaller diameter. As a result, the design of the aircraft, especially in the nose, was more suitable for supersonic flight.

The first version produced at the Shenyang Aircraft Factory was the MiG-19P all-weather fighter. What was different from the production of the J-5 was that all the technical documents for the manufacturing were prepared and all the production tooling was designed and manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory itself except the design drawings which were provided by the Soviet Union.

China began the licence production of the J-6 shortly after the J-5, a copy of the MiG-15. Manufacturing settled on an aircraft factory in Shenyang. Interceptors received priority in China. The first flight of the MiG-19P, assembled in China from parts of the Soviet, executed December 17, 1958 by test pilot Wang Youhuai. It was certificated for mass production by the State Certification Committee in April, 1959.

The military services needed a large number of the front-line fighter MiG-19s at that time, therefore the Shenyang Aircraft Factory produced a derivative of MiG-19P designated as J-6 on the basis of the Soviet supplied example aircraft. Pilot Wu Keming flew the first all-Chinese J-6 for the first time on September 30, 1959.

China succeeded in establishing mass production only in 1963. The Shenyang Aircraft Factory was responsible for the license production of the J-6. However, the Great Leap Forward negatively affected the production of the J-6. The aviation industry was under the influence of the "Great Leap Forward" in 1958. Many good rules and regulations were put aside, necessary organizations were disbanded, and unhealthy tendency of neglecting quality while pursuing quantity appeared. Over-ambitious production goals and lack of thorough testing resulted in the mass production of poor quality aircraft. In the end a large number of finished aircraft could not be delivered to the military services because of inferior production quality and all the J-6s produced in that year had to be improved in three years. A large quantity of finished aircraft could not be delivered for use because and additional three years had to be committed to the repair of flaws in the aircraft, including the Shenyang WP6 engines.

The Shenyang Aircraft Factory began its prototype production of the J-6 in 1961 for the second time with more emphasis on quality control. The methods used in the initial prototype production were not repeated. A complete set of drawings and technical documents of the Soviet MiG-19C were copied and the production tooling and master tooling were rebuilt. Based on a proposal by Wang Qigong, vice general secretary of the party in the factory, Luo Shida, vice chief technician of the factory drafted a document "Standards for Operation" which set up 10 standards to be conformed to in the second prototype production period of the J-6. Lu Gang, director of the factory, formally issued orders-to put into practice "Standards for Operation" in prototype production, so that it began on the right lines.

The previous J-6 suffered horizontal surface vibration due to the flawed design of a hydraulic booster valve that controlled the horizontal surface, and was solved with the addition of a hydraulic damper. The licence production of the WP6 engine carried out again by the Shenyang Engine Factory and was certified in October 1961. A J-6 was at last successfully built with high quality domestic parts in December, 1963 and the design of the J-6 was certificated for mass production by the State Certification Committee. By 1964, the J-6 was re-certified for production.

The J-6 fighters had had some differences from the MiG-19C. The plant at Nanchang undertook series production of the MiG-19P (J-6) , but it failed to establish mass production. Work on a copy of the MiG-19PM (J-6A) stretched on by a good decade and a half - the first production J-6A only left the plant in 1977. The J-6A armament consisted of four "air-to-air PL-1 (analog of the Soviet K-13). The Chinese developed several modifications of J-6, the first of which was the J-6III to increase engine thrust, a smaller wing span and axisymmetric inlet. China built a few hundred J-6III. The F-6 for Pakistan had different on-board equipment and the ability to use AIM-9 air-to-air missiles; and Martin Baker ejection seats were installed in the cockpit. In November 1970 the first flight was carried out a training fighter JJ-6 (FT-6). This was built in a large series, and became the main training fighter Chinese military aviation.

The Nanchang Aircraft Factory was the second factory to be assigned the task of licence production of the MiG-19P and the MiG-19PM. Thus it was planned to convert the propeller aircraft factory into a jet aircraft factory. In September after receiving the drawings and technical documents supplied by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory, the Nanchang Aircraft Factory immediately set up a Prototype Production Committee and 7 professional groups. Relevant workshops also set up prototype production groups to assist in organizing the program. All the staff and workers of the factory worked very hard and created conditions needed for the production of jet fighters. At last, with the cooperation of relevant organizations, the MiG-19P was successfully produced in Nanchang. This prototype aircraft piloted by Wang Youhuai flew for the first time on September 28, 1959. On November 28, it was certificated by the State Certification Committee. A total of 7 aircraft were produced.

Licence production of the MiG-19M, a front-line interceptor carrying missiles began in March 1959 based on the drawings and technical documents supplied by the Soviet Union. Five MiG-19PM were assembled with the Soviet kits. Thereafter the Nanchang Aircraft Factory built 19 aircraft on their own. The Nanchang Aircraft Factory mastered the production techniques of jet aircraft through the license production of these two versions of the MiG-19. They also laid the foundation for the development of their own jet fighter.

The J-6 fighter was an aircraft successfully produced under license and then put into mass production by the Chinese aviation industry. Through the life cycle of the aircraft (prototype production, mass production, delivery and operation) the aviation industry completely mastered manufacturing techniques and gained managerial experience, thus improving work in both these fields.

Aircraft production differs from general machinery production in forging, casting, welding, machining, metal sheet forming and assembling. Moreover, the interchangeability and assembly techniques in aircraft production are unusually complicated. Through the license production of the J-5 and J-6 a transition from the pure imitation of Soviet manufacturing techniques to the ability to apply and develop these techniques at will was achieved. After learning the three methods of assembly, i.e. lofting and template, master tooling and reference holes, the Chinese developed their own qualified master tooling and all production tooling. New equipment such as the jig assembly machine and optical instruments were widely used and a complete set of technical methods for solving interchangeability problems was established. Significant progress in other manufacturing techniques such as welding, casting and heat treatment had also been made. In a word, manufacturing techniques in the aviation industry had been improved comprehensively.

Management in aircraft industry has its own peculiarity as well. Beginning with license production of the J-5 the Shenyang Aircraft Factory studied Soviet experience in management and set up its own series of production management systems. For example:

  • Aircraft manufacturing activities were organized in accordance with work sharing by workshops, manufacturing schedules, master tooling manufacturing schedules, assembly diagrams, assembly cycles and part kits in order to ensure the timely supply of parts and components to the aircraft production.
  • All the parts and sub-assemblies were divided into different groups according to their manufacturing schedules and their assembly orders. The parts and sub-assemblies in the same group were manufactured at the same time. If a group of parts and sub-assemblies took a longer period of time to manufacture or they were to be used on the assembly line first, they were manufactured first and vice versa. In this way no parts would be manufactured too early and kept on the shelf or manufactured too late thus delaying the assembly.
  • In order to ensure the quality strict quality control was carried out from the incoming raw materials, through finished parts, assemblies, tests and even to flight test.

Due to the aforementioned systems the production of the J-6 was stable and the quality good enough for mass production, so the industry progressed from the old fashioned production techniques to modern large scale production. Many were built when Chinese factories had yet to hear about "standardized quality control", and according to some, variances among the planes can range up to some planes being six inches longer than the others. Without the right tolerances of parts, these makes parts interchangeability among the J-6s alone, and from the parts bin, difficult and lucky shots. It makes even cannibalization difficult.

The deep modernization of J-6 attack aircraft became the Q-5 (A -5) with side air intakes and a new forward fuselage, modified wings and tail. The range of weapons significantly expanded by weapons class "air - surface". Polnosyu changed the composition of the target hardware. Work on the Q-5 began in 1958, but was repeatedly stopped and then resumed. The first flight of the prototype was made in June 1965, the first production aircraft arrived in combat units in 1970. The Q-5 was repeatedly upgraded. Under the designation A-5 the aircraft was exported to Pakistan, North Korea and Bangladesh.

The serial production of J-6 / F-6 lasted until 1986, altogether there were built more than 4,000 aircraft J-6 of all modifications, no including the Q-5.

By 2010 two-thirds of the roughly 1,600 fighter aircraft operated by Chinas air forces were still based on the MiG-19 and MiG-21, and less than a quarter of Chinas fighter force consisted of fourth-generation aircraft. Many of Chinas aircraft were still not capable of carrying BVR missiles or PGMs, and none were stealthy.


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Page last modified: 14-02-2016 20:09:52 ZULU