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WZ-8 Supersonic Reconnaissance UAV

FighterJock

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Is there any information about the new supersonic drone at the top of the photo Deino? Any idea as to the name is.
 

FighterJock

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overscan

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I think this project was initially said to be a testbed for high speed, hypersonic engines. This looks more like an aerodynamic testbed using off the shelf rocket engines to me. Maybe the scramjets / turboramjets are coming later :)
 

sferrin

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I think this project was initially said to be a testbed for high speed, hypersonic engines. This looks more like an aerodynamic testbed using off the shelf rocket engines to me. Maybe the scramjets / turboramjets are coming later :)
Or maybe it's air launched (hence the flatbed truck, and it does have lugs on top) and the rockets boost it to high speed-altitude and it glides the rest? :confused: Think Kh-22/32.
 

overscan

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This article from 2017 was posted on Chinese forums as possibly related. Apparently its about rocket powered UAVs, and says prior to the paper being published, the rocket drone had been tested (or experimentally performed) 18 times. With no power system failure, and only one camera failure occurred.

The mission profile is launch from a carrier aircraft (e.g. H-6), rocket power climb, level flight, rocket burned out and gliding back. The rocket working time 35 minutes, the total flight time is one hour and 30 minutes, the working height is "near space". The aircraft is reusable but the rocket engine not.

There's separate evidence of a nose cone looking like the nose of this previously displayed, apparently designed for temperatures approx Mach 3.0.

5FE1929E-9C22-43A2-8402-3A667D9145CC.jpeg
 
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overscan

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It feels to me like its saying total mission time (or perhaps the H-6 'carry time') was 1 hour 30 mins, with 35 mins for the WZ-8 flight, I'm not sure it means 35 mins burn time on the rocket like lots of the Chinese forumers seem to be thinking. We don't have proof this article is related either.
 

sferrin

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So it's essentially the X-34?

Randy
No. More like a reusable D-21. speculation is that it could provide targeting against CVBGs when launched from H-6s. Maybe that recent H-6 mod, with the recess in the belly, is for this thing.
 

edwest

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How many countries post Top Secret information online?
 

antigravite

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Hi.

As always, the Elixir news organization discussed at length this newly unveiled drone in their french-based information canal, eastpendulum.com with hard-to-find information.

A.

 

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antigravite

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Hi.

Attached are two pictures (with unedited file naming for proper SEO) taken from eastpendulum.com website.

Both pictures — taken by and credited to lixin哎呀 — showcase what elixir / hk299692458 / henri kehnmann / eastpendulum describe as a composite-based nose for a supersonic UAV manufactured by GAIC (Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation) and exhibited sometime ago in an non-identified trade show.

If you can read between the (French) lines, these pictures could be connected to the DR-8… or not.
If they do, the temperature resistance would be 350°C (see board captions), meaning DR-8 would only be supersonic.
If they don't, then the composite nose must be associated to another yet undisclosed project (or prototype / test article).

Other option: these pictures would still be related to a hypersonic something (DR-8 or not) before any thermal insulation cover material and processes is applied.

Hmmm... These interesting information tend to blur the picture.

Any comment anybody?

A.
 

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antigravite

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This article from 2017 was posted on Chinese forums as possibly related. Apparently its about rocket powered UAVs, and says prior to the paper being published, the rocket drone had been tested (or experimentally performed) 18 times. With no power system failure, and only one camera failure occurred.
Thx.

A
 

Trident

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Mini-Isinglass, adapted to the capacity of the smaller H-6 launch platform? 35min is 2100s, no way that is referring to rocket burn time - even upper-stage engines with multiple relights reach only about 1/3 of that duration.

The nose cone Paul mentions is probably what antigravite posted here. High-res photos of the UAV indicate a spherically-blunted metal nose cap though, so it might be faster than the temperature limits of that sample indicate.
 

TomcatViP

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I don't understand also why it has a landing gear. If this has only two rocket engines, the return weight will be fairly low given the size of the thing. A parachute recovery or even skids would seems more suited.
 
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Trident

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Or maybe 35 minutes burn time is the answer to why the engines are not reusable despite liquid propellants? But then where does it store all that fuel?
 

Moose

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I don't understand also why it has a landing gear. If this has only two rocket engines, the return weight will be fairly low given the size of the thing. A parachute recovery or even skids would seems more suited.
The gear also reads to me as a strike against the "Targeting Carrier Groups" theory, unless the idea is to fly around to the east of the carrier and launch toward the mainland.
 

In_A_Dream

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If it's going to carry HEF, then that sounds awfully familiar...
 

overscan

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Some high res photos. Its certainly real, whatever it is.
2e7bbefe-ce44-43fe-8c2d-dcae8a1e3eab.jpgNINTCHDBPICT000527009726.jpgNINTCHDBPICT000526998757.jpgChina-drones7.jpgChina-drones-4.jpg2nd-formation-of-unmanned-combat-armaments-3.jpg
 

rooster

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Not being an aeronautics engineer, is the lack of heat shielding indicative of this being something with a low mach number? Or high mach with low burn time?
 

coanda

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It's not the right shape for hypersonic. It seems like a boost glider to me, so maybe boost from mid altitude to high altitude and then glide back.

Given it has landing gear and the OML, I would suggest that whatever its capturing won't be transmitted and will be handled/processed after it lands. It's definitely airdropped.

Like a lot of things I see in Chinese work, the landing gear appears to be a little errr naive in design, like they don't really know why they're doing it, other than they've been told it has to have landing gear.
 

coanda

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Also noticed that the following UAVs (artillery spotting?) appear to be parachute recovered.
 

LVisingr

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Unmanned vehicles formations at the parade (based on Chinese sources):

Formation I (recon): 2x WZ-8, 3x BZK-008A artillery spotting, 3x BZK-008 (aka CH-91) reconnaissance, 3x Ryu Ying (aka Sky Saker FX500)

Formation II (strike): 1x GJ-11 Li Jian (Sharp Sword), 1x GJ-2 Wing Loong II, 4x JWS-01 (aka ASN-301, copy of IAI Harpy)

Formation III (special): 6x BZK-008A ELINT, 3x BZK-008A EW jammer, 2x HSU-001 robotic mini-sub
 
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totoro

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I don't really see any large openings for camera lens though. I guess they could be directly under the belly and thus not noticable from these images. but that would preclude side looking cameras and thus probably also preclude significant stand off recon ranges.

if this thing is meant to actually get very close to point of interest to photograph it, then it could still get threatened by SAM (or even ABM systems) even if is cruising at 35-50 km altitudes. what sort of speed would it need to fly at to maintain 50 km, though?
 

kitnut617

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It looks super sleek, but it's got two huge lugs poking out the top ---
 

coanda

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It looks super sleek, but it's got two huge lugs poking out the top ---
Yeah, you'd think they would at least align them with line of flight.

Might be on explosive bolts tho...
 

flateric

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It looks super sleek, but it's got two huge lugs poking out the top ---
who told that they are regular flight equipment? may be only used for transportation
 

Moose

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China was putting their best foot forward to impress everyone. If those lugs could be unscrewed in 5 minutes, they would have been.
 

RanulfC

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It looks super sleek, but it's got two huge lugs poking out the top ---
Yeah, you'd think they would at least align them with line of flight.

Might be on explosive bolts tho...
who told that they are regular flight equipment? may be only used for transportation
China was putting their best foot forward to impress everyone. If those lugs could be unscrewed in 5 minutes, they would have been.
Look like standard mounting lugs used for lifting and transport. They don't look like they come off so they may be structural, which would make sense in context for moving them around and then attaching to the launching vehicle. The normal boost/glide, (I think that's the correct mission parameter for the design) AoA is going to be slightly nose high, (very much like the way they are set on the trailers) which puts the lugs in the aerodynamic 'shadow' of the fuselage during supersonic flight. I also don't see any indication of doors or hatches for letting a camera peek out during flight but those could be covered.

Randy
 
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