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WZ-8 Supersonic Reconnaissance UAV

flateric

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may be related ... or not

The invention discloses a high-altitude high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle landing and grounding state control method. The invention aims to provide a safer and more reliable control method. The control method of the invention is realized by following technical schemes: a high-altitude high-speed autonomous take-off and landing type unmanned aerial vehicle landing control system acquires the information of a differential GPS, and the altitude values and validity signals of an inertial navigation GPS, an atmospheric engine A, an atmospheric engine B, a radio altimeter A and a radio altimeter through a flight control computer, judges whether a certain device malfunctions, sets altitude information and valid bit information if the device malfunctions; whether one altitude source is valid is judged according to the altitude values and validity signals of the difference GPS and the inertial GPS, and if the altitude source is valid, whether the altitude source is within an altitude thresholdis judged, if the altitude source is within the altitude threshold, left main landing wheel load sensor and right main landing wheel load sensor signals are collected for 5 consecutive beats; and whether wheel load is real for 5 consecutive beats is judged, and if the wheel load is real for 5 consecutive beats, a landing and grounding state flag is set, and ground measurement and control system station commands are collected, and landing and grounding state operation is performed.
 

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rooster

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LoL they are talking about debouncing the landing gear sensors. Its what we do in engineering to detect real and fake button presses. But they are leaving out the amount of time interval for the 5 bounces. Its a 30,000ft document.
 

DWG

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LoL they are talking about debouncing the landing gear sensors. Its what we do in engineering to detect real and fake button presses. But they are leaving out the amount of time interval for the 5 bounces.
I'm not certain they are, the phrase used is "5 consecutive beats", if a better translation of "beats" is "cycles", then it could be referring to the function in question running 5 times, which has an implicit duration. I actually wrote the weight on wheels function for 757RT (the 777 PFCS prototype) and the requirement was fairly similar.
 

sferrin

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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.
Unless the message they wanted to send was, "we're launching these from a plane".
 

FighterJock

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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.
Unless the message they wanted to send was, "we're launching these from a plane".
I think that launching drones from a plane is a bad idea, look at what happened to the M21-D21 when the USAF tried to launch the D-21 from the mothership it crashed causing the death's of the two crew members.
 

sferrin

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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.
Unless the message they wanted to send was, "we're launching these from a plane".
I think that launching drones from a plane is a bad idea, look at what happened to the M21-D21 when the USAF tried to launch the D-21 from the mothership it crashed causing the death's of the two crew members.
A solitary event doesn't negate the success of thousands of other missions flown. (Probably tens of thousands given the plethora of drones going all the way back to the 60s.)
 

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.
Unless the message they wanted to send was, "we're launching these from a plane".
Valid. My point was, the lugs weren't non-flight hardware left attached as an afterthought. One should assume they'll still be in place in flight when attempting to estimate the aircraft's capabilities.
 

TomcatViP

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Lugs are probably sockets that goes on top of the flight worthy ones in order to fit the size of standards handling hardware. That way no pins to secure or dedicated hardware that have to be flown on site.
 
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Trident

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I think that launching drones from a plane is a bad idea, look at what happened to the M21-D21 when the USAF tried to launch the D-21 from the mothership it crashed causing the death's of the two crew members.
That was because the launch was at supersonic speed from the back of the M-21, and interaction with the carrier aircraft's shock waves caused the D-21 to descend back down onto the M-21. China doesn't have a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a payload this big, it'll be dropped very conventionally from the belly of a subsonic H-6, so the risk is pretty moderate.
 

kitnut617

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The size of the lugs would suggest the thing is quite heavy too ---
 

FighterJock

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I think that launching drones from a plane is a bad idea, look at what happened to the M21-D21 when the USAF tried to launch the D-21 from the mothership it crashed causing the death's of the two crew members.
That was because the launch was at supersonic speed from the back of the M-21, and interaction with the carrier aircraft's shock waves caused the D-21 to descend back down onto the M-21. China doesn't have a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a payload this big, it'll be dropped very conventionally from the belly of a subsonic H-6, so the risk is pretty moderate.
Thanks Trident, a converted H-6 bomber would make a good launching platform for the WZ-8.
 

sferrin

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I think that launching drones from a plane is a bad idea, look at what happened to the M21-D21 when the USAF tried to launch the D-21 from the mothership it crashed causing the death's of the two crew members.
That was because the launch was at supersonic speed from the back of the M-21, and interaction with the carrier aircraft's shock waves caused the D-21 to descend back down onto the M-21. China doesn't have a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a payload this big, it'll be dropped very conventionally from the belly of a subsonic H-6, so the risk is pretty moderate.
Thanks Trident, a converted H-6 bomber would make a good launching platform for the WZ-8.
Considering that was it's original role back in the day, I should think so.

Tu-16K-10-26-Badger-C-1S.jpg
 

FighterJock

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How many WZ-8 would a converted H-6 bomber carry? One or two? Considering that the converted B-52’s carried two D-21’s on the inner pylons.
 

sferrin

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How many WZ-8 would a converted H-6 bomber carry? One or two? Considering that the converted B-52’s carried two D-21’s on the inner pylons.
A B-52 is a damn sight bigger than an H-6. From the looks of it, one on the centerline. (At least they've been showing a semi-conformal fuselage slot, presumably for a WZ-8 or other munition.)

That said, they could carry a pair of 9,000lb AS-5 Kelts back in the day.
tu16_18.jpg
 

FighterJock

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How heavy is the WZ-8? are they heavier than the Kelt cruise missile?
 

totoro

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From the images it would appear the UAV is some 10 m long, 3.5 m wingspan. That's less than d21 at 5 tons, launch weight. I'd venture out to guess wz8 weight to be 3.5 to 4 tons.
 

Deino

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Allegedly it will be carried like in this artwork

H-6N + WZ-8 - 2.jpg
 

sferrin

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ELINT makes more sense than SAR, especially when you'd be trying to out range things like E-2Ds and Aegis with a radar on a missile (not to mention those platforms own ESM).
 

rooster

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Probably something tailored for Taiwan overflight. Not much range.
Could it be a one-way ride to a US carrier and therefore longer ranged and actually be a maneuvering high speed weapon? Serious question
 

TomcatViP

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Why the burden of an heavy undercarriage then? I think it's unlikely that this was the intended primary mission.
 

TomcatViP

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Yes, boost/glide I guess.

Vought's Regulus was however not a rocket plane ;)

You have a landing weight at the end of the mission that is basically that of an empty shell, a small fraction only of what it was at mission launch (think glider and soaring planes) .

That is why I am surprised to see a fully designed undercarriage.
 
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sferrin

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Vought's Regulus was not a rocket plane ;)
No, it was a missile. Pointing out that early test vehicles could have landing gear even if the production model might not. Does make me wonder how much range the thing could possibly have being rocket powered and expected to land. Come to think of it, a likely scenario might be the H-6 ranging way out over the Pacific, the missile flying to a REALLY high altitude, and gliding to one of their new "islands" soaking up RF all the way along. From 120,000 feet you could cover a swath 850 miles wide. From 150,000ft about 950 miles.
 
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TomcatViP

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Right. Got it. And I do agree for something that has heavy and expensive systems. But still. What do you think would be the mass fraction at recovery?
 

sferrin

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No idea but it could have a wet wing which would help.
 

TomcatViP

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Regarding mission profile, I have more in mind something Eastward (launched over the Pacific toward China with Taiwan on the way) .
 

sferrin

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Regarding mission profile, I have more in mind something Eastward (launched over the Pacific toward China with Taiwan on the way) .

I was thinking maybe they'd use it to try to spot CVBGs for targeting their antiship ballistic missiles.
 
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