Reports that China’s WS15 Jet Engines Are More Powerful Than US F135 Jet Engine

There are reports that a third batch of China’s WS-15 turbofans has been delivered with performance better than US F135. This would mean that China has achieved the goal of about 197 kilonewtons (44,000 lbf) of thrust with an afterburner.

The Pratt & Whitney F135 is an afterburning turbofan developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a single-engine strike fighter.

The F-135-PW-100 has the following performance
Maximum thrust:
28,000 lbf (128 kN) military thrust,
43,000 lbf (191 kN) with afterburner
Overall pressure ratio: 28:1 overall pressure ratio
Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.47:1 military thrust, 11.47:1 augmented

The WS-15 is a Chinese afterburning turbofan engine designed by the Shenyang Aeroengine Research Institute and manufactured by the Xi’an Aero-Engine Corporation, which will be used to power the Chengdu J-20, which would be able to achieve supercruise.

WS-15 performance
Maximum thrust:
Military thrust: 105 kN
Afterburner: 180+ kN
Goal: 197 kilonewtons (44,000 lbf) with afterburner
Turbine inlet temperature: 1850K
Thrust-to-weight ratio: 9.7-10.87

SOURCES – tiananmenstremendousachievements,
Written By Brian Wang,

31 thoughts on “Reports that China’s WS15 Jet Engines Are More Powerful Than US F135 Jet Engine”

  1. The bleeding edge of the USA is big mouth cannon, fake news media and claiming credit where credit is not due. Nobody in the past and future in the world can beat the American in these areas.

    • To: Joe WongSeptember 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm
      I read your intentionally insulting letter. In response, I hope that somewhere in your life you find the peace and tranquility that you now lack.

  2. you’ll see more positive results of engine R&D in china. why? The chief leader of engine research has died. some one said he lead the R&D in wrong direction.

  3. All of life is game theory, and believe me I know it better than you. It’s what I trained for, that and combining it with electronic circuit theory to producer a algo for human behavior.Take a movement model, combine with some resources based models, add in some economic variables and you get a HBE based settlement model for human movement, base economy and distribution. Economic models can vary, but they are all cooperation focused, in that they measure the level, as in they use Hamilton’s Law (the nepotism factor).combined with other variables for perceived relationship as a base.

  4. $1 trillion on a family of jets over a 70 year period, the media makes it seem like one jet but in reality it is a family of jets and the funding to sustain them into the 2060’s.

  5. He doesn’t seem to see the poor quality that results from Chinese projects, just look at their decaying ghost cities they build to artificially inflate domestic housing. Their bubble of false investments will pop one day and there will be a rude awakening.

    • Total Chinese (and American) debt is concerning. We are moving into uncharted territories here and the future, as always, remains a bit complicated and unclear.

  6. It is not trivial to build an engine, even if it barely reach the milestone the U.S. set thirty years ago. Turbofan engines represents the pinnacle of engineering achievement. The engines are available to be inspected, but the process of making them is secret. There is not even a patent to reference. The Germans and the Japanese, with their industrial power, was not able to do it. How do you make the engine by copying? Certainly, a lot of experts are hired to help kick start the process, but a highly capable design team and manufacturing group is needed to consistently churn out engines that don’t blow up midair. The entire world, there are only four other Western companies plus the Russians that can do this. They are Rolls Royce, Safran, GE and Prat & Whitney. Jet engine is also not like the semiconductor industry where five years will see the landscape changed dramatically. Looking at how well they did in industries that Western companies don’t have a big lead, we can expect them to be at the cutting edge in a decade.

  7. The US right now is by far ahead of China with engine tech, especially these turbofans. The current XA100, deployment scheduled for 2023, is different from these engines both of you are speaking of. The XA100 and the Chinese engine are turbofans, not SABRE or the J-58, they aren’t trying to emulate them or compete. We are talking about fighter engines looking for increased speed and efficiency while remaining stealth, going MACH 3 isn’t an objective. As for comparing the readiness levels of the 2 aren’t accurate as you are both assuming the Chinese Government is telling the truth and that they are the same generation of tech which just isn’t true. The XA100 and XA101, whichever is chosen will use adaptive tech which allows the engine to reshape itself for efficiency. The Chinese Government is developing last gen engine tech that is roughly comparable to the F-119 engine but will be less stealth and less efficient due to the water injections they plan to use. I’m just saying comparing the XA100 to the Chinese engine is like comparing the F-135 engine to the F-110 engine, the comparison just isn’t comparable due to the F-135 advancements. Comparing thrust between the F-135/XA-100 to the Chinese counterpart is also comparing apples and oranges, if the US wanted more thrust they could but it would result in less stealth. In the end we don’t know how far away the Chinese engine is from widespread use, totalitarian governments tend to celebrate the tiniest of advancements soo.

  8. I mostly agree but mass WAS covered. I looked for it when I first read the article and sure enough we get
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 9.7-10.87

    Hence we indirectly have weight (mass assuming we remain on Earth)

  9. So…yay them for using prisoners organs? And yeah…I seem to recall a lot of their solar and wind stuff was ALSO copied. Poorly apparently as Chinese wind farms deliver far less then their advertised potential as compared to the United states.

  10. Spending a ton of pork money on a project doesn’t make it excellent. Just look at the Senate Launch System, a private company has thoroughly beaten it for a tiny fraction of its cost.

  11. GE has had prototypes since the YF-120.

    Anyways, check out the last paragraph of the July 2018 article I linked. they could already be testing the XA100 prototype. so same readiness as this Chinese turbofan

    ”GE plans to deliver the XA100 demonstrator’s first engine to test next year under the AETP programme, McCormick says. In addition to adaptive bypass airflow, the XA100 will feature ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in the rotating high pressure turbine blades, allowing GE to use higher temperatures or reduce cooling loads in the engine design.”

  12. China copies and steals? So what! China also leads in human organ transplants, and will never run out of donor organs. This is too quickly forgotten by China critics. China also leads the world in advanced wind and solar generators, the most advanced way of generating electric energy!

  13. Institutions not under existential threat tend to decay; The motive to concentrate on things other than the supposed goal of the institution is always present, and without that threat, in the end prevails.

    One thing totalitarian states are good at is supplying credible threats. To their foes, AND to their own internal institutions…

  14. China is the best thing that could happen to US weapons technology. They downloaded basically everything from the lazy military industrial complex and are integrating and catching up now. America does its best work when competing. At some point you are moving so fast there is not enough time to copy, that’s when it’s pure competition.

    The F-135 engine copy is to be respected. It takes a lot of really difficult engineering to take plans and put them into production. Kudos China.

    The past 15ish years, no urgency has been driving US military weapons design (save a few point solutions.) The SR-71 was like >50 years ago…the mean time (in military jet engines) has only seen conservative, cost reduction/optimization engineering taking place. Let’s start the competition!

  15. “starts work” is not “bleeding edge”.
    U.S. development programs like this often get cancelled and if not, they may take many years, if not decades.

  16. Is this Game Theory to you?
    Musk is a citizen of the world, and he may not want to go the “might is right” mode.
    I wanted to do your math, but if China did in 2019 from 30 US years ago, its copying 3X our development. So our break even tech match is around 2032?
    To think that all they do is “copy” is reductionist. everyone reiterates, once they can design.
    I’m sorry about that math. but who knows about the rates?
    also, china is flash frying its own fish right now

  17. stolen and reiterated on?
    the red tape in the US hampers development. following proper military protocols around procurement
    On this site, it sounds like the F-35 is a maintenance nightmare.
    FYI, my Canada is buying a bunch of them.

  18. I was agreeing on the US having superior engine tech now. I was merely trying to add that there are new technologies that are in final development stages. Some of those new technologies are adaptive engines that enable Mach 5+ atmospheric with world strike range and SSTO.

    Really, the Starship + booster by SpaceX enables orbital bombing. A B-2 mission to the middle east from Langley is a 4-5 million dollar endeavor at 120k per hour for a 20+ hour trip, add ordinance, and then add aerial refueling. That drops 20 tons.

    Theoretically, the Starship + booster should do 70+ tons for 10ish million plus ordinance cost. It will likely cost 1/4 what a B-2 or 1/2 what a B-21 cost in procurement. What is safer 1500km up or a somewhat stealth bomber?

    Meanwhile, China just built an engine on par with a 30 year old US engine and is 5+ years from developing a single commercial aviation turbofan jet engine that would be competitive with what we have had for 15+ years.

  19. Us spend trillion $ on jet engine, u tell me China can do it short period time. Is a miracle. But I am not bet my money on it. Definitely not reliable engine

  20. the last paragraph of the July 2018 article I linked. they could already be testing the XA100 prototype. so same readiness as this Chinese turbofan

    ”GE plans to deliver the XA100 demonstrator’s first engine to test next year under the AETP programme, McCormick says. In addition to adaptive bypass airflow, the XA100 will feature ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in the rotating high pressure turbine blades, allowing GE to use higher temperatures or reduce cooling loads in the engine design.”

  21. Fuel efficiency, thermal signature, control agility, volume, mass and maintenance requirements are all important factors not being covered here.

    There’s lot more than just thrust

  22. True. US has been working on the SABRE and SR-72 engine. Both are dual mode engines that allow for incredible speed and efficiency. Alas, it will likely be 4-6 years before working versions are created. That is about the same time frame as China expects to finish its first commercial jet engine.

  23. It must be a poor copy attempt of the F-135 engine, it seems that they are trying to emulate the American counterpart. Yes the details are sketchy but I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the ‘achievement’. They will most likely rush this engine out and then those J-20’s would fall out of the sky just like the J-15 that they copied from Russia. As you said they are using water injection, they must’ve stolen a early iteration of an F-135 or of the F-119.

  24. That link is a tiny blurb at best. The implication is it might exceed in afterburning thrust, but no mention of non-afterburning performance or fuel efficiency. There was also a mention of being better than foreign water injection engines, but is there a newer engine that uses water mass injection or MIPCC? Pretty much the only planes currently doing that might be old 707-derived aircraft or the B-52, I can’t immediately think of a modern fighter using water injection currently.

  25. To be fair to the American competition, you should acknowledge that the F-135 engine was developed almost 20 years ago and had proliferated American weapons systems from the early version that is in the F-22 since the late 90’s to the newer F-35 variant from early 2000’s. The Chinese are basically developing tech that America has had for 30 years as of now, and they are still behind even with the theft of the tech secrets. There should also be coverage over new American adaptive engines that would have more thrust, be more efficient, and more configurable. I just feel since China’s bleeding edge is 30 year old stolen tech that we should also show America’s bleeding edge.

  26. Can’t be sad if China makes a decent turbine. Let’s see how it pans out. It basically is rocket science, so the more, the merrier. Hat tipped to F111F comment below.

  27. Who cares about these details? All the China agents wants you is to absorb their final line. Global population soft training should be constant for a greater submission to China’s will, just the same way that is being done to the uyghur population the people of Honk Kong and Taiwan, but in a more dispersed manner!

  28. It will be interesting to see if “more powerful” means during day-to-day operations or really fast just once (like the MiG-25’s engines). The old analog fuel controls in the F-100 engines for the F-15 originally had a “vmax” switch which, essentially, just dumped as much fuel as possible into the engine. If the aircrew did activate it, we’d have to pull the engine and send it across a test cell for ops checks. Nowadays digital electronic fuel controls give max performance over a wide range of throttle settings. Hell, they even do a self-trim on each engine start.

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