Feeds

In search of the Caspian Sea Monster

Strange sightings on Google Earth

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The X-114Russia wasn't the only country to take an active interest in the possibilities of WIG aircraft, though.

In the early 1960s, German designer Alexander Lippisch threw his hat into the ring with a series of small-scale designs based on a reverse delta-wing configuration.

Lippisch was an expert in delta-wing aerondynamics, having played a large part in the design of the famous Me-163. His X-112 and X-113 designs were developed by Rhein Flugzeugbau (RFB) into the X-114 (seen here) for the German military.

Neither the X-114 nor any of its derivatives ever made it into military service, but there is some evidence that China may have taken a close interest in the design.

Specifically, readers are invited to speculate as to exactly what the Chinese are up to down at Qingdao naval base:

The Chinese Sea Monster at Qingdao

Well, the circumstantial evidence is there: a launch ramp down to the water's edge; hangar-type building; and the proximity of a seaplane base (click here. For the record, those are Shuihong-5 amphibious aircraft sunning themselves on the shore).

On the other hand, our Chinese Sea Monster is only 20 metres long, although a close-up examination adds weight to the theory that it may be the China Ship Scientific Research Centre's XTW-4 - based on the Lippisch X-113 (seen right) or X-114, as proposed by members of the Google Earth community:

A Chinese version of the X-113?

The Chinese XTW-4Shown here is a clearer view of the XTW-4. It's powered by two turboprop engines driving two five-blade propellors, and has a corrosion-resistant hull designed for salt-water operations.

It was built in 1999 and tested during 2000. Further information is scarce, and its current status is unknown, other than that it appears to be hanging around the Qingdao area. We'll leave it to you lot to fill in the blanks.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Related links

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?