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CASIC Skyhawk (series)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The CASIC Skyhawk represents a series of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle developments that includes the SH-1 and SH-3 forms.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/20/2019
The CASIC "Skyhawk" of Chinese aero-industry encompasses a family of related Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) for both military and commercial service. These include the Sky Hawk 1 and Sky Hawk 3 lines. A new, 6,600lb all-wing design was showcased by the company at Zhuhai Air Show 2018 (and slated for the stealth surveillance role), further expanding on the current family offerings.

CASIC stands for "China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation".

The first entry, the Miniature-UAV "SH-1", was revealed at Zhuhai Air Show 2008 as an all-wing design driven by a two-bladed conventional engine arranged in "pusher" configuration. The overall arrangement of the fuselage is more traditional than the SH-3 version detailed below. Its payload capacity reaches 66lb and launching of this vehicle is by rocket-assisted, catapult action while recovery is through simple released parachute to retard the fall. Skids make up the undercarriage facilities. Its overall length reaches 7.5 feet with a wingspan covering 13.78 feet. It can reach speeds around 90 mph up to a ceiling of 16,400 feet.

The SH-3 switches to a twin-boom fuselage arrangement with a similar pusher engine configuration as the SH-1. However, the tail section introduces a pair of downward-facing, outward-canted vertical planes for stability though recovery is similar to the SH-1 involving parachute and skid formation. Its length is increased out to 11.8 feet while its wingspan equals this measurement. The payload capacity is a relatively restricted 11lb. The operating ceiling of this entry is reduced to 9,840 feet while operating at speeds nearing 75 mph.

The SH-3 model includes both the "SH-3A" and "SH-3B" models. The A-model introduces a more conventional wheeled tricycle undercarriage for improved runway/airfield support (no longer requiring the use of a catapult for launching) though recovery still involves parachute deployment. The B-model is a very different hand-launched Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV) approach - though still powered by a twin-bladed pusher propeller unit which is electrically-driven in the design. Flight time is limited to 45 minutes and recovery is by runaway/airfield or parachute fall.

Program Updates

November 2018 - The stealthy Skyhawk UAV version of the Skyhawk family line was unveiled at Zhuhai 2018.

January 2019 - Video showing the Skyhawk stealth UAV on its first flight was revealed to the public.


[ 1 Units ] :
China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) - China
National flag of China China (probable)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Unmanned
7.55 ft (2.3 m)
13.78 ft (4.2 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the CASIC Skyhawk 1 production model)
Empty Weight:
220 lb (100 kg)
331 lb (150 kg)
(Diff: +110lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the CASIC Skyhawk 1 production model)
1 x Conventional engine driving two-bladed propeller in pusher configuration.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the CASIC Skyhawk 1 production model)
Maximum Speed:
75 mph (120 kph; 65 kts)
Service Ceiling:
16,404 feet (5,000 m; 3.11 miles)
Maximum Range:
186 miles (300 km; 162 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the CASIC Skyhawk 1 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None. Mission-equipment carried.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the CASIC Skyhawk 1 production model)
Skyhawk - Base Project Name.
Skyhawk 1 (SH-1) - Model of 2008; miniature UAV form; catapult-launched; flying wing fuselage; conventional engine driving two-bladed propeller unit in pusher configuration.
Skyhawk 3 (SH-3) - Twin-boom fuselage configuration; conventional engine driving two-bladed propeller unit in pusher configuration; inverted-V tailplanes; skid undercarriage.
Skyhawk 3A (SH-3A) - Based in the SH-3 form; tricycle undercarriage; increased MTOW.
Skyhawk 3B (SH-3B) - Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV) form; revised, traditional fuselage layout; electrically-driven.

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