UPDATE: Always GIS interesting photos first. It’s a Chinese test model that has been shown online for several years. Well, at least I guessed China might be involved…
This photo has been floating around Ye Olde Interwebs for the last day or so.
It appears to show a radar cross section model of a fighter plane on a (presumably radar-absorbent) pylon. Nothing else is known, other than:
Appears to have a single engine… one round hole for an exhaust, wing-root inlets. Exhaust is optimzed to reduce IR signature as seen from below.
SR-71-kinda-like inward-canted vertical tails
SR-71-like chines on the forward fuselage
Seriously non-stealthy carriage of four air-to-air missiles below underwing pylons. Outboard missiles look like AIM-9’s, inner missiles look different, perhaps Python 3’s (note the swept trailing edge of the rear stabilizers and the larger body diameter). If true, this is odd… it might indicate that this is an Israeli project, as I don’t know as that the US would put Pythons on US aircraft. However, the Python was licensed to the Chinese, who built it as the PL-8, so maybe… a Chinese stealth fighter project? But they don’t carry Sidewinders… Python 3 would indicate probably late 70’s, early 80’s.
What looks like a sensor over the exhaust (probably not IR as it’d be looking right at the hot exhaust plume). Perhaps a small radar unit, or even just a radar detector.
Can almost maybe kinda see what might be the front part of a canopy up front.
Compound delta wings.
There are a few designs that vaguely resemble this:
Lockheed A-6-5 from the late 1950’s, one of the “Archangel” series. Clearly, this plane is *not* one of the Archangel designs, but there might be a faint family resemblance.
The Grumman Advanced Stealthy Penetrator from roughly the mid 80’s. Clearly the pole-plane is NOT the GASP… too small, inlets all wrong, etc. But it *might* be related.
McDonnell-Douglas’ 1982 ATF concept. Again, clearly not the pole-plane, but there is a faint resemblance, and the mission is at least right.
If anyone has any ideas… nows the time!