CASC Rainbow

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CASC Rainbow (Cai Hong, abbreviated as CH) is the name of a series Chinese UAVs developed by China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), also known as the 11th Academy of CASC,[1] or 701st Research Institute. CH series UAVs has a maximum operational radius of 250 km and endurance ranging from an hour to thirty hours.[2]

CH-1[edit]

CH-1 is the first member of the Rainbow (CH) series UAV. The general designer was Mr. Shi Wen (石文), who is also the general designer of CH-2, the successor of CH-1, CASC PW-1, the derivative of CH-1, and CASC PW-2, the derivative of CH-2. CH-1 program first begun in 2000, and the success of CH-1 resulted in the establishment of UAV program which eventually led to other designs that followed. CH-1 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2] Specification:[3]

  • Wingspan (m): 4.4
  • Length (m): 3.75
  • Height (m): 0.87
  • Weight (kg): 40
  • Payload (kg): 4.5
  • Fuel (kg): 26
  • Max speed (km/h): 170
  • Cruise speed (km/h): 120 – 150
  • Normal radius (km): > 100
  • Normal operating altitude (km): 1 – 3
  • Ceiling (km): 4.6
  • Max range (km): 740 @ 1 km altitude and 124 km/h speed
  • Endurance (h): 6
  • Rate of climb (m/s): 4.3
  • Turn radius (m): 290
  • g overload: - 1.5 to 3
  • Launch: rocket assisted + catapult mounted on vehicle
  • Recovery: parachute
  • Max wind scale allowed for operation: 5

CH-2[edit]

CH-2 is second member of Rainbow (CH) series UAV and it is a development of earlier CH-1, with identical twin-boom layout. As with its predecessor CH-1, propulsion of CH-2 is also provided by a two-blade propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted at the rear end of the fuselage, and the UAV is launched via vehicle mounted catapult with rocketed assisted take-off.[4][5] CH-2 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2]

CH-3[edit]

CH-3 is a fixed wing UCAV of the Rainbow series. CH-3 adopts a usual layout in that it appears to be an scaled downed version of Jetcruzer 450, so CH-3 lacks centrally located vertical tail, but has large winglets and canards. Propulsion is provided by a three-blade propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted on empennage. The main landing wheels of the tricycle landing gear has fairing to reduce drag.[6] Specification:[6] [6]

  • Wingspan (m): 8
  • Range (km): 2400
  • Endurance (h): 12
  • Payload (kg): 60 – 80

CH-3A[edit]

CH-3A is the development of CH-3 and share the identical layout. Improvement of CH-3A over CH-3 includes that the maximum payload is increased to more than 100 kg, and satellite data link is also incorporated.[6] Specification:[7]

  • Payload (kg): 180 maximum
  • Endurance (h): 6 with maximum payload

CH-4[edit]

CH-4 is the largest fixed wing UCAV of the Rainbow series (as of end of 2013).[2] Externally, CH-4 looks almost identical to General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, and the only distinct visual difference between two UAVs is that the ventral fin below the V-tail on MQ-9 is absent on CH-4.[8]

CH-91[edit]

CH-91 is a fixed-wing UAV in twin-boom layout with inverted v-tail and a pair of skids as landing gear. Propulsion is provided by a two-blade propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted at the rear end of the fuselage.[9] CH-91 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2]

CH-92[edit]

CH-92 is a fixed-wing UAV in conventional layout with V-tail and tricycle landing gear. Propulsion is provided by a propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted at the empennage. CH-92 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2]

CH-802[edit]

CH-802 is a fixed wing micro air vehicle (MAV) in conventional layout with elevated high-wing configuration and V-tail. CH-802 has a cylindrical fuselage and propulsion is provided by a two-blade propeller driven by a tractor brushless electric motor atop of the fuselage.[10] CH-803 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2] CH-802 program begun in 2007 and was completed in 2008. Specification:[11][12]

  • Wingspan (m): 3
  • Length (m): 1.8
  • Weight (kg): 6.5
  • Payload (kg): 1
  • Radius (km): 30
  • Normal operating altitude (km): 0.3 – 1
  • Normal radius (km): 30 – 50
  • Cruise speed (km/h): 60
  • Endurance (h): 2.5
  • Ceiling (km): 4
  • Launch: by hand

CH-803[edit]

CH-803 is a fixed-wing UAV with a cylindrical fuselage and canards, but without tailplane. Propulsion is provided by two-blade propeller driven by a tractor engine mounted in the nose. Another unique feature of CH-803 is that it adopts forward-swept wing.[11] CH-803 is mainly intended for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.[2] CH-803 program begun in 2008 and was completed in 2011. Specification:[12]

  • Wingspan (m): 3
  • Length (m): 1.8
  • Weight (kg): 18
  • Payload (kg): 3.5
  • Radius (km): 30
  • Normal operating altitude (km): 0.5 – 1.5
  • Normal radius (km): 50 – 80
  • Cruise speed (km/h): 80 – 110
  • Endurance (h): 5
  • Ceiling (km): 3.5
  • Launch: catapult
  • Recovery: parachute

CH-901[edit]

CH-901 is a fixed-wing UAV in conventional layout with cylindrical fuselage and high-wing configuration. Propulsion is provided by a two-blade propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted at the end of empennage.[13] CH-901 is designed as an UCAV.[2]

See also[edit]

List of unmanned aerial vehicles of the People's Republic of China

References[edit]