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Shenyang/Hongdu "Lijian" (Sharp Sword) UCAV demonstrator

Deino

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Again some news from China: Following some unconfirmed reports on January 26 the prototype of the UCAV-demonstrator "Lijian" (Sharp Sword) performed its first taxi-tests. Now the first images appeared ... not good, but anyway a sign for what's going on.
The "Sharp Sword" UCAV is said to be similar in size to the US X-47B and is reportedly designed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation in cooperation with its Aircraft Design Institute No. 601 and it was allegedly build by the Hongdu Aviation Industrial Group.
Deino
 

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antigravite

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Hi guys,


this thread got lot worldwide publicity today with Dave Axe's article on wired.com


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/05/china-first-killer-drone/


A.
 

antigravite

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He's some more stuff about Shenyang Aircraft Co. that might be helpful to connect the dots.

In october 2012, Shenyang's Aerodynamic Research Institute filed an unusual patent for a "Supporting System for pressure measuring test of an entire aircraft". Images speak for themselves.

This does help.


A.
 

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Reaper

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Here the other image that was all over the news:

 

flanker

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That is the RC model built by students i believe.
 

Deino

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Yes, the one with the two fins ...
 

Blitzo

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Paging bill sweetman...


via sinosoldier over on SDF.







Unfortunately the nozzle doesn't look too stealthy and is very conventional looking... maybe a more internal, stealthy placement reduces thrust too much. Either way, hopefully the final thing will rectify this. Everything else looks expected from this angle.
 

Blitzo

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via =GT





Despite the nozzle, this is no subscale demonstrator. This thing looks the size of X-47B or phantom ray easy. This ain't no X-45A.
 

Deino

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YES, here it is "sharp" and clear ... and IMO it's powered by a RD-93 !!!
 

sferrin

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I guess security in the West is just another "quaint" idea consigned to the dustbin.
 

Dragon029

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In regards to the nozzle, would it be at all plausible that they jumped ahead with the airframe design and have simply installed an engine (say the RD-93) with nozzle, sub-systems and all, and that the nozzle design is something to be done later on? (Perhaps this is more a prototype for FCS and other control / autonomy systems)
 

totoro

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now that i think of it, some other ucav demonstrators have afterburning engines installed but no one talked about their potential supersonic use. Does afterburning engine automatically mean the whole aircraft is designed for supersonic flight? If not, why use afterburner at all?
 

sferrin

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totoro said:
now that i think of it, some other ucav demonstrators have afterburning engines installed but no one talked about their potential supersonic use. Does afterburning engine automatically mean the whole aircraft is designed for supersonic flight? If not, why use afterburner at all?
What other UCAVs have afterburners?
 

Sundog

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totoro said:
now that i think of it, some other ucav demonstrators have afterburning engines installed but no one talked about their potential supersonic use. Does afterburning engine automatically mean the whole aircraft is designed for supersonic flight? If not, why use afterburner at all?
It isn't supersonic. It's too short. It would have serious wave drag issues and control issues.

The reasons to use an afterburning engine is
a) The engine already exists.
b) acceleration.
c) I don't see any evidence of an afterburner. I see an axisymmetric nozzle, but unless you can get me a picture inside the rear of the engine, we don't actually know if it has an afterburner, or if it has the AB installed, but disabled.
d) I'm willing to bet a production variant would not have the same engine/nozzle arrangement.
 

totoro

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i have no idea if the aircraft is supersonic. but i am wondering what do non-afterburning engines used in combat planes look like? how do their nozzles look? does anyone have some images? (the ones i managed to google are quite small and not detailed, but it seems such engines don't really have nozzles like this, but have simpler nozzles)

IF the engine is afterburning one, it wouldn't be a simple switch to non afterburning one. we're talking a 1 to 1,5 meter longer/shorter engine, a few hundred kilos more/less and center of gravity of the whole plane being pushed back, compared to plane with a non-afterburning engine.

pretty much all planes are designed around the engine requirements. some planes did have different variants of engines installed but i can't think of many (any?) examples where nonafterburning engine was switched for an afterburning one, let alone vice-versa. Can someone list a few of such examples?
 

2IDSGT

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http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/picture-new-chinese-advances-in-tailless-uav-designs-revealed-385842/

I'm not sure why Flightglobal said it isn't designed for RCS reduction. It appears to be a frugal demonstrator using an available engine to grasp the fundamentals of operating a flying wing. The gear doors alone seem to indicate that in end-product is intended to be very difficult to find. Also, X-47's nozzle doesn't look to be all that *stealthy* either.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
I guess security in the West is just another "quaint" idea consigned to the dustbin.
It seems I read alternating news stories

1) Chinese continue to hack computers in US
2) Look a new Chinese weapon system that looks a lot like its western counterpart produced much earlier than we thought :mad:
 

Sundog

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totoro said:
i have no idea if the aircraft is supersonic. but i am wondering what do non-afterburning engines used in combat planes look like? how do their nozzles look? does anyone have some images? (the ones i managed to google are quite small and not detailed, but it seems such engines don't really have nozzles like this, but have simpler nozzles)

IF the engine is afterburning one, it wouldn't be a simple switch to non afterburning one. we're talking a 1 to 1,5 meter longer/shorter engine, a few hundred kilos more/less and center of gravity of the whole plane being pushed back, compared to plane with a non-afterburning engine.

pretty much all planes are designed around the engine requirements. some planes did have different variants of engines installed but i can't think of many (any?) examples where nonafterburning engine was switched for an afterburning one, let alone vice-versa. Can someone list a few of such examples?
I do have an idea of whether or not it's supersonic; it isn't. As for the afterburner, you just have to pull the flame holders and spray bars out. As noted up thread, it's an existing engine. They aren't going to make too many mods to the engine just to get an aerodynamic developmental prototype flying.

If the Chinese built that UAV just for that engine, a reference to your sizing comment, then they've failed miserably. But they didn't. It's just an engine to get into the air for aerodynamic testing. The reason you're confused by the engines length is due to the fact that section currently taken up by the afterburner and nozzle will eventually be replaced by an LO nozzle system, which isn't short.
 

totoro

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so what other aircraft, demonstrators or not, have ever been installed with afterburner but were not capable of supersonic flight? and what other aircraft had, at any point during their lifetime, changed their engines from afterburning one to a non afterburning one?
 

Arjen

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totoro said:
so what other aircraft, demonstrators or not, have ever been installed with afterburner but were not capable of supersonic flight? and what other aircraft had, at any point during their lifetime, changed their engines from afterburning one to a non afterburning one?
Afterburner, subsonic: North American F-86D, Lockheed F-94C. This is just from memory, there might be more examples.
Some F-86Ds were converted to F-86Ls, having their afterburning J47-GE-17B engine replaced by a J47-GE-33. I think the J47-GE-33 had no afterburner.
 

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In my opinion, yes, its using an off-the-shelf RD-93 for the prototype, to be replaced by a non-afterburning RD-33/WS-13 with a LO-configured exhaust. Still feels a little small for the engine though.
 

Deino

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IMO that thing under the cover is not that UCAV but a tail .. maybe the Y-20's tail !?

Deino
 

Vahe Demirjian

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Sharp Sword looks to be a lethal drone compared to the X-45 and X-47. If the X-45 and X-47 are painted dark gray, why did the Chinese decide to paint the Sharp Sword black and not dark gray?

On another question, isn't the Sharp Sword suitable for both land and carrier operations?
 

sferrin

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Vahe Demirjian said:
Sharp Sword looks to be a lethal drone compared to the X-45 and X-47.
Based on?

Vahe Demirjian said:
On another question, isn't the Sharp Sword suitable for both land and carrier operations?
What makes you say that?[/quote]
 

flanker

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Vahe Demirjian said:
Sharp Sword looks to be a lethal drone compared to the X-45 and X-47. If the X-45 and X-47 are painted dark gray, why did the Chinese decide to paint the Sharp Sword black and not dark gray?

On another question, isn't the Sharp Sword suitable for both land and carrier operations?
Am i imagining things, or are you measuring "lethality" on choice of paint?
 

UpForce

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flanker said:
Am i imagining things, or are you measuring "lethality" on choice of paint?
Well, there was this thing about lead paint in Chinese toys not too long ago ...
 

Reaper

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Even considering that the Chinese aircraft doesnt match western technology yet, their output is still very impressive. Every year and less a new plane!
 

Deino

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Could You explain what You mean with "when somebody else is doing the heavy lifting for you" ??

Deino :-\
 

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Deino

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Oh, so Your statemet is once again simply stupid BLAHBLAH, that fits nicle the common sense !?
But on a more serious note: What design was now ripped-off again and even more how could they get hands on these foreign data of say the X-47B !!?? ... and following Your conclusion, the Neuron is also a rip-off ??

And the possibility that China has in the meantime managed at least a minimum ability to develop such things on their own is way beyond Your imagination !?

Deino
 

Deino

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But You have no proof ??!! I know - maybe better than some others here - the history of Chinese Aviation but I also know these repeatedly quoted stupid statements since it is so much easier if it fits the own point of view, opinion or limited horizon to keep that line even if the facts are completely different in the meantime.

As such tell us from what type of UCAv these blue-prints were stolen ... ???

Sometimes I really have the feeling that we are too close to Keymag's poor quality,
Deino :mad:
 

Deino

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No, since I thought the difference to Keymags is that we argue, we tell us facts - at least what we know so far - and then discuss ... instead of simply posting stupid notes of things that are not confirmed.

Take it reverse: China has a secret base on the moon and stealth bombers with a Klingon warp drive ... only since I
don't have them on video stealing CATIA files we've sunk to the level of Kemag when it's as obvious as the sky is blue? Okay. . .
I think YES ! At least YOU seem to be.

Otherwise taking Your line of arguments one could say: Posting stupid and ignorant things, behaves stupid and ignorant, as such is ....

Deino
 

chuck4

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Leaving the charming digression about whether it speaks well or ill of the chinese to avail themselves of good defence ideas where they find them (Speaks very well of the right sort of hubris that doesn't go to their heads, unlike the wrong sort sometimes exhibited on this board, IMHO), I just like to ask why does the engine nozzle on that drone look like it is in full open, after burner position if it is only capable of dry thrust?
 

sferrin

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chuck4 said:
Leaving the charming digression about whether it speaks well or ill of the chinese to avail themselves of good defence ideas where they find them (Speaks very well of the right sort of hubris that doesn't go to their heads, unlike the wrong sort sometimes exhibited on this board, IMHO), I just like to ask why does the engine nozzle on that drone look like it is in full open, after burner position if it is only capable of dry thrust?
Is there any evidence that the afterburner is NOT operational? Did they just ditch the afterburner and slap the nozzle on the end of a shorter engine? And why would nozzle setting on a stationary aircraft determine anything anyway? And I don't believe anybody has said anything about copying being good/bad, just that it makes things easier. Theft on the other hand is completely worthy of condemnation. YMMV.
 
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