They could be the products of a Chinese government misinformation campaign. They could be clever Photoshop jobs by Chinese aviation fanboys. Or, they could be the real thing: the first hard evidence of the long-rumored Chengdu J-20, China’s first stealth-fighter prototype.
The above photo and several others surfaced over the Christmas weekend on Chinese internet forums, catching the eye of Aviation Week fighter guru Bill Sweetman. A noted skeptic in the sometimes enthusiastic world of fast-jet journalism, Sweetman stressed that the pics might be fakes.