The Chinese fighter plane

OK. I’ve seen several threads on this board about the big US/China diplomatic flap regarding the fighter/surveillance plane collision. I just have one question, which I don’t think was answered by any of the other threads:

Exactly which kind of fighter was involved in this? Someone in one of the other threads stated that it was a J-8II. The only problem is that that particular aircraft underwent a full redesign at one point. What exact model and configuration was it? From the photos I’ve seen, the side of the cockpit looks a lot like a MiG-21, but I dunno.

The aircraft is the F-8II, an indigenously produced PRC fighter.

Here’s more information on the F-8I and II. Not sure what the “J” thing is all about, we in the military know it as the “F”-8; I believe that it’s the NATO designation. And yes, I do believe it’s modeled after the MiG-21.

This previous GQ thread has some useful info on the Chinese F-8:

The chinese fighter was an F-8?


I don’t know about that - the MiG-21’s intake is in the nose, with a big spike in the middle, but the plane in the video looked like it had “shoulder” intakes. That would make it unlikely, but not impossible, for it to be a MiG-21 derivative (the old F-86 changed from a nose intake to a chin intake in its “D” model).

The F(J?)-8I has a nose intake, whereas the 8II has side intakes similar to those on the MiG-23. The plane was, indeed, an indiginious Chinese design.

Thanks. I didn’t see the earlier thread when I did a search, because I was figuring that no one else had inquired about those details of the incident. Oh, well.

That was about all I wanted to know. There was a picture of the side of the fighter, around the cockpit area, in our local newspaper, and the first thing that struck me was what a striking resemblance that particular part of the plane seemed to bear to a MiG-21.

Something I don’t quite understand. Why was the pilot killed? Did he die instantly in the collision or was he knocked unconcious and didn’t eject?

He did eject. However, China does not have a very good Search & Rescue organization (and, at this time of year, he might not have been found before hypothermia got him, anyway). China also turned down an offer from the U.S. to send some S&R planes out to help look for him.