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Chinese "Wing Blade" UAV/UCAV Concept

Eagle2009

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Late last night some new images of yet another Chinese UAV concept were posted on SinoDefence.com's forum.

This new concept is called "Wing Blade", uses a flying wing design with a dorsal mounted intake (like many UAV/UCAV concepts from the X-45 to the MiG Skat). Other than that there isn't much to know just yet. Included here are two images (one of it on the runway and another from a magazine).

There is a rather interesting coincidence that images of a flying wing UAV/UCAV concept should become public just days after reports of Iran getting their hands on a RQ-170 Sentinel..
 

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chuck4

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Wouldn't the curvy leading and trailing edge work to reduce the stealth property of the this thing?
 

flateric

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Eagle2009

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A valid point, but I am just reporting what others have.

Personally I was stuck by how much this reminded me of the X-48B blended wing body concept, especially the wingtips.
 

shedofdread

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And it's those tip fins that give it away - what you have here is a relatively simple, stable platform. Certainly not 'all aspect' LO.
 

bobbymike

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We hear a lot about Chinese "strategic thinking" and the art of deception from early military thinkers like Sun Tzu, etc. Would it be beyond the realm of possibility that they have a very active modeling shop giving the appearance to the US of "anything you can do we can do"?

If this is not a good thread for this discussion I apologize in advance.
 

Deino

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By
Stephen Trimble
on December 6, 2011 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBacks (0) |ShareThis

What was the joke around the office almost the instant after Iran announced possession of an RQ-170 Sentinel?

"Look for the RQ-170 copy at the Zhuhai [air show] next year."

If you'll forgive the streak of cynicism, it seemed at the time like a fair swipe at the reverse-engineering skills and loose intellectual property safeguards in both Iran and China.

On the other hand, it may not be an entirely fair assessment of China's need to copy the RQ-170's technology. As this picture posted on the sinodefence forum yesterday reveals, China has been working hard to develop their own stealthy unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

In addition to this photo, sinodefence forum spotters also found a photo showing a Chinese-language magazine article about the aircraft. We asked Ghim-Lay Yeo, the office's resident Singaporean, to translate the article, which was published recently in a magazine called Construction Technology.

According to Yeo, the article describes two variants of the same UAV. The first variant, which is named "Crossbow", appears to be the same stealthy-looking UAV spotted at the "Grand Prix" in Beijing two months ago. The second variant is called "Wind Blade", and adds the extended wingspan and winglets you see above. Both variants have been designed by students at Shenyang University, which happens to be the home of one of China's three largest manufacturers of combat aircraft.

The photo suggest China has at least reached the scale-model stage of stealth UAV development. That's roughly where US industry stood in the mid-to-late 1990s. Depending on the age of these projects, it may only be a few years before the first full-scale model appears over Shenyang or Chengdu -- and that's with or without the RQ-170.

 

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