Shenyang J-8

Chinese interceptor fighter aircraft

Shenyang J 8
photo: Allen Watkin

The Shenyang J-8 was a domestically-built high-speed, high-altitude, single-seat Chinese interceptor fighter jet in 1980. It was designed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation Design Institute for its primary users, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, and the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force.

1979 to: 2010


2x Guizhou WP-13B
15,430 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1200 knots
2,222 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
Travel range:
1,188 Nautical Miles
2,200 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
59,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
39370 feet / minute
200.00metre / second
Take Off Distance:
630 metre - 2,066.90 feet
Landing Distance:
900 metre - 2,952.72 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
17,800 Kg
39,242 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
6,500 Kg
14,330 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
1,465 gallon
5,546 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
21.6 metre - 70.87 feet
Tail height:
5.41 metre - 17.75 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1.2 metre - 3.94 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
9.3 metre - 30.51 feet
Wing Tips:
no winglets
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Shenyang-J-8’s design was typical and very alike to the previous aircraft of the Soviet Union. The cockpit was located onward the fuselage designed with a cone-shaped nose. The two engine intakes were positioned to each side of the fuselage and fitted behind the cockpit, providing a comparatively better and wider view for the pilot. The aircraft had the same low-mounted wings as the Mikoyan- Gurevich MiG-21. The wingspan is 9.34 meters and the wing area is 42.2 square meters. The tail assembly is made of a conventional configuration of elevators and a vertical stabilizer. The external length of the J-8 is 21.6 meters, the height is 5.41 meters and the fuselage diameter is 1.2 meters. It has a wheelbase of 7.1 meters. The aircraft’s exterior was based on the Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon while most of the interior was derived on the Mig-21.

The aircraft was armed with different air-to-air missiles such as the PL-2 IR-homing short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM). It was initially equipped with 2×30 mm Type 30-1 cannons. It was also proposed to be fitted with the PL-4, a semi-active radar homing (SARH) air-to-air missile, however, problems had emerged and the plan was scrapped in 1985. The aircraft could also be loaded with guided and unguided bombs and rockets.

The J-8 is powered by two Guizhou WP-13B afterburning turbojet engines. It has a two-spool axial compressor and a can-annular combustor. Each engine produces a 10,580 lbf dry thrust or 15,430 lbf with an afterburner. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,200 knots and a combat range of 540 nautical miles with 3 drop tanks. The service ceiling is 59,000 feet and the rate of climb is 39,370 feet per minute. The takeoff and landing distances are 630 meters and 900 meters, respectively.

The aircraft has a gross weight of 15,288 kg, a maximum takeoff weight of 17,800 kg, and a maximum payload of 6,500 kg. The maximum fuel capacity is 1,465 gallons.