After arriving as a pair at low-level, one of the J-20s quickly disappeared over the horizon, leaving the other to perform a series of turns, revealing its delta wing shape against bright sub-tropical haze.
But analysts said the brief and relatively cautious J-20 routine - the pilots did not open weapon bay doors, or perform low-speed passes - answered few questions.
"I think we learned very little. We learned it is very loud. But we can't tell what type of engine it has, or very much about the mobility," said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor of FlightGlobal. "Most importantly, we didn't learn much about its radar cross-section."
A key question whether the new Chinese fighter can match the radar-evading properties of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air-to-air combat jet, or the latest strike jet in the U.S. arsenal, Lockheed's F-35. The F-22 Raptor, developed for the U.S. Air Force, is the J-20's closest lookalike.
But the mere display of such a newly developed aircraft was a revealing signal, others said. "It's a change of tactics for the Chinese to publicly show off weapons that aren't in full squadron service yet," said Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute, "and demonstrates a lot of confidence in the capability, and also a lot of pride."