Born to Fly

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Born to Fly movie poster.

Movie (2022)
Chinese title : 长空之王
International title : Born to Fly
Russian title : Король неба

Wang Yibo (Lei Yu)
Hu Jun (Zhang Ting)
Zhou Dongyu (Shen Tianran)
Yu Shi (Deng Fang)

(Synopsis needed)

Note: This film utilises a significant quantity of Computer Generated Images (CGI). Aircraft portrayed in this film may not be entirely accurate and have been identified as closely as possible to real aircraft.

Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II

No nationality markings.

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Leading some unmanned (fictitious) combat air vehicle (UCAV).

Chengdu J-10

No nationality markings... but no doubt about it !
Note the three aerials on the spin. Most of the production got only one, the latest Chengdu J-10C having two.

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Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Pins Collection

1 : Guizhou JL-9 ? ;
2 : Shenyang J-11 or -15 or -16;
3 : (helicopter);
4 : Xian Y-20;
5 : Xian MA600 ? ;
6 : Chengdu J-20;
7 : Chengdu J-10;
8 : Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) logo;
9 : unknown/unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle;
10 : Chengdu GJ-1 (also known as Wing Loong 1) UAV;
11 : Xian H-6;
12 : Hongdu JL-10;
13 : Harbin Z-20;
14 : Changhe Z-10;
15 : AVIC AG600 (Utility amphibious flying boat under development).

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Various Aircraft (CGI)

1 : Xian H-6;
2 : Xian Y-20;
3 : Hongdu JL-10.

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Shenyang J-11BS (?) / Shenyang J-16

The Shenyang J-16 is an indegeneous variant of the fourth generation fighter Shenyang J-11 itself a licensed production of the Sukhoi Su-30. Despite no external difference,this mean that now most if not full of the equipment (engine, electronics, ...) is designed and made in China instead relying on Russian components.
Under extreme cold testing with the crew onboard, freezed. This is a non-sense by the writter and/or the director as the pilots must be well protected by the cockpit (unlike the case here); this fighter (like most of those flying since the 1950s) is able to reach altitudes where temperatures decrease to approximately −55°C (−67°F) (considering from an average temperature of 15°C (59°F) at sea level)... and so has been designed accordingly.

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As you can see, some Shenyang are with the Hiviz (high visibility) roundel, some others with the Lowviz one.
Some airframes are fitted with a retractable in-flight refuelling probe (Shenyang J-16), some others not. The lack of the refueling probe is specific to Shenyang J-11BS as its black radome (never seen throughout the movie).

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Various Aircraft

1 : Xian JH-7A ;
2 : Xian H-6K (or later variant) with the larger air intakes (re-engined with D-30KP turbofan);
3 : Shaanxi KJ-500 ? (please read the discussion tab).

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Xian H-6K behind a primer finish Shenyang J-11 (used by AVIC Flight Test Establishment).

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Chengdu J-20

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Shenyang WS-10 Chinese turbofan engine. Different versions are the powerplant of Shenyang J-10C / J-11B / J-15 / J-16 and Chengdu J-20 fighters.

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Shaanxi Y-9

(background) Shaanxi Y-9; perhaps one of the few airframe dedicated to intelligence gathering (note the fairings on the side of the fuselage between the two left pilots).

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Nanchang JL-8 (aka Hongdu K-8)

A very special Nanchang JL-8 : this airframe is not the usual advanced jet-trainer co-developped by Pakistani-Chinese engineers during the 1980s.
K8V-203 is a control system testbed intended to variable in-flight stability aircraft with FBW controls. The conversion was made in 1997.

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Inverted flat spin !

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Lockheed Martin YF-16 CCV Fighting Falcon

S/n 72-1567 YF-16. The first prototype was rebuilt in December 1975 to become the USAF Flight Dynamics Laboratory's Control Configured Vehicle (CCV).

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Lockheed Martin F-35A

Lockheed Martin F-35A test aircraft AF-04 with the spin recovery system.

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Shenyang J-16

The only two fighters seen with a serial :

1619 (fitted with the spin recovery system).

China’s People’s Liberation Air Force serials are usually of five digits.

Harbin Z-20

Indigenous five-bladed main rotor military design highly based on the civilian four-bladed main rotor Sikorsky S-70 (of which 24 were bought in 1984). Maiden flight on 23 December 2013 and in active service since 2019.

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Changhe (CAIC) Z-10

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McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

Cover of the mid-1980s The Illustrated History Of Fighters book by Bill Gunston (Bookthrift Co publisher).

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Xian Y-20

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Various Aircraft (CGI)

1 : Xian H-6;
2 : Shenyang J-16 airbrake deployed;
3 : Harbin Z-20;
4 : Chengdu J-10;
5 : T-tail with rotodome : Xian KJ-2000s;
6 : Xian Y-20;
7 : canopy of the Chengdu J-20;
8 : Shenyang J-16.

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Various Aircraft (CGI)

A Shaanxi KJ-2000 is leading a V-flight with a pair of Chengdu J-20 followed by Shenyang J-16s. Straight behind the airborne radar station, two V-tail unmanned aerial vehicles with three hardpoints under each wing (no ventral fin ? Maybe a Wing Loong-10B?).
Flying over the Chinese (double!) carrier strike group around the aircraft carriers Liaoning (16) and Shandong (17) .

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See also