posted on Oct, 1 2019 @ 11:37 PM
a reply to: FredT
Speculation mode on:
I bet this is a recon Silbervogel. Meaning it is technically boost glide aircraft, but using a specific atmospheric skip technique that is a bit
different than usual BG flight profile. That way it need not have an active engine for long range use. Interestingly, the body of the WZ-8 here
echoes the West German follow-on to the Silberfogel dating from the 1980s transamospheric vehicle craze. That was called the Saenger after the
Silbervogel's lead designer. Interesting bit: the WZ-8 has landing gear and that means they intend on reusing the bird.
What could you use this for? Snapshot strategic recon, of course. Much like other fastmovers past and present. However, I have to wonder if this
isn't supposed to be the recon element for the DF-21 or other long range missiles. Folks have commented and wondered about that for some time: how
WOULD the Chinese get targeting info for the DF-21s easily? Here's one possible answer.
Another possibility comes to mind, too. This is a recon drone according to the Chinese, make no mistake. However! The Chinese have stated they will
fly an HTHL spaceplane to orbit in 2021. The WZ-8 could have been a stepping stone to that goal that has found another use. If the HTHL is a TSTO, a
la the Saenger, then this is even more likely, both for the 2021 goal and the 'low speed' demonstrator for atmospheric handling finding another use.
Wild speculation, to be sure, but in line with what the Chinese have been saying publicly and the Chinese are the antithesis of the Russians for
We shall see. Probably the former, but the latter is a possibility.
(or maybe this is tictac . lol)