Chinese UAV & UCAV development


by78

Lieutenant General
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Not sure how accurate this is.
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Here's a scholarly article on the rocket-powered surveillance UAV:
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Scchwerter_

Junior Member
Registered Member
Says on the published paper that the operational time for the rocket engines are 35 min and the platform itself can remain operational (airborne?) for 90 min. That's monstrously long considering that the WZ-8 uses rocket engines
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48827352431_1bafa39ad5_k.jpg


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48827351441_792a053bae_k.jpg


Not sure how accurate this is.
48827493442_a4c81625a8_k.jpg


Here's a scholarly article on the rocket-powered surveillance UAV:
48827493762_4a0d58d14d_o.jpg
 

KFX

New Member
Registered Member
The rocket engine is single-use only but the airframe can be recovered, as the landing gears attest.

The real question is how fast can this bird go?
Perhaps the idea is to launch it somewhere north of Taiwan, have it race to the south checking things out, and then turning west again for recovery in China? Like the old USAF FireBee?
 

taxiya

Brigadier
Registered Member
The rocket engine is single-use only but the airframe can be recovered, as the landing gears attest.

The real question is how fast can this bird go?
I am not sure about the "single-use engine".

The reason of most rocket engines being single-use is because they would crash to pieces either on a space launcher or a missile. Therefor they are manufactured with the shortest service live in mind. But that (short live) is not necessarily a technical obstacle to overcome. It is nothing new either (if you may think of Elon Musk's F-9), Shuttle's SME is reusable decades ago. Now we are talking about a much smaller and simpler (less combustion pressure etc.) rocket engine. Of course, I am not saying WZ-8's engines are reusable, only saying the relatively high possibility.
 

Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
Yes, I found that strange too - they're liquid propellant engines, even those on expendable rockets actually have a service life that would suffice for several launches, in general. That should be good enough for multiple WZ-8 missions, perhaps with some refurbishment in between. There are two possible explanations that I'm entertaining:

1) The engine is not a bespoke-developed type but an existing design which was adopted from an obsolete, mass-produced rocket and there is an ample stock of stored engines in a warehouse somewhere. In this scenario it might simply be cheaper to chuck them in the bin after each flight instead of performing refurbishment, especially if the latter would incur a lot of effort. Toxic propellants such as N2O4/UDMH could complicate matters, for example, meaning the work might have to be done in a controlled building and wearing protective gear.

2) There isn't actually "the engine" :) What if this thing has expendable (possibly solid propellant) boosters to take it up to higher speed/altitude after launch from the H-6 and the engines we see are merely sustainers (and reusable)? Perhaps the reference to single-use was with the boosters in mind, but because there were none in the parade config the statement is mistakenly thought to apply to what we see? Consider:

Heat shields against booster exhaust? (h/t
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Attachment points for the right-hand booster?

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subotai1

Junior Member
Registered Member
Attachment points for the right-hand booster?
Perhaps this all mounts on top of the plane, space shuttle style with booster or something JATO-like. Boosters can take the drone to altitude and speed prior to the internal rockets kicking in. That would give it considerably longer range.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Burned marks show these are not mock ups but actual drones that had already been used.

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ノズルの黒い無偵-8の機腹部には焼蝕痕が見える。噂によると既に福建、南海で二回の実戦任務を遂行した武勲機でだそうだ。もしかして2016年南海において米軍と対峙するとき、戦区に出て米軍の空母の位置を確定して且つ東風-21Dの中継誘導を担ったではないか。
Translated from Japanese by
Burning marks can be seen on the abdomen of Black Uncle-8. According to rumors, it is a warrior machine that has already performed two battle missions in Fujian and Nankai. Perhaps when he confronted the US military in the Nankai in 2016, he went to the battlefield to determine the position of the US military aircraft carrier and to carry out the relay of Dongfeng-21D.

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Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
On to MAKS.

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MAKS-2019で展示されていたLJ-1標的。おそらく米国の5GAT的なもの。機首にアクティブレーダージャマー、IRデコイ等任務に合わせて40kgのペイロードを積める。ブースターロケットを搭載すれば維持6G、瞬時9Gの高機動も可能とあるけど、このインテーク配置で大丈夫?
Translated from Japanese by
LJ-1 target on display at MAKS-2019. Probably like 5GAT in the United States. A 40kg payload can be loaded on the nose according to missions such as active radar jammer and IR decoy. If equipped with a booster rocket, high maneuverability of maintenance 6G and instantaneous 9G is possible. Is this intake arrangement all right?


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