Nanjing CK-1

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Role Target Drone
National origin People's Republic of China (PRC)
Manufacturer Nanjing
Designer General Zhao Xu
Introduction 1960s
Developed from Lavochkin La-17

The Nanjing CK-1 (exported under the name Chang Kong-1 or CK-1) is a radio-controlled target drone developed by the Nanjing Institute of Aeronautics in the People's Republic of China. It is based on the reverse engineering of Lavochkin La-17C drones supplied to the PRC by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s before all such Soviet technical aid to the nation was withdrawn. Its chief designer was General Zhao Xu and the first example flew on December 6, 1966.

Design and development[edit]

The CK-1 was powered by a WP-6 engine, which was a Chinese copy of the Soviet Mikulin RD-9B turbojet and featured some system changes from the original La-17s used as a pattern. WP-6 turbojet's thrust was massive comparing engine on board La-17, for this reason take-off control and procedure was optimized for CK-1. CK-1 relied on a take-off assistance vehicle before a rocket launching system was developed later.[1]

It also featured a parachute recovery system. Entering service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in the late 1970s, its main mission as a target drone was soon supplemented by a variant to the reconnaissance role, the CK-1A, which had underwing pods for additional equipment used in collecting air samples from Chinese nuclear tests, replacing crewed aircraft in this role.

A CK-1B was introduced into service in 1983 that was optimized for low-level flight and had non-jettisonable underwing fuel tanks. It was followed by the CK-1C, with a much improved control system to provide much more maneuverability, as well as reinforcement to withstand maneuvering stresses, which were further improved in the CK-1E.


basic target drone
nuclear radiation sampling variant
low altitude variant for assessing air defense systems
high manoeuvrability variant for assessing interceptor and attack aircraft
ultra-low altitude variant
experimental twin engined variant


 People's Republic of China

Specifications (CK-1)[edit]

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Length: 8.44 m (27 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 2.96 m (9 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 8.55 m2 (92.0 sq ft)
  • Gross weight: 2,060 kg (4,542 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wopen WP-6 turbojet, 21.1 kN (4,740 lbf) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 910 km/h (565 mph; 491 kn)
  • Range: 937 km (582 mi; 506 nmi)
  • Endurance: 45-60 minutes at high altitude / 70 minutes at low altitude
  • Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "CK-1 UAV Target Drone modification". Retrieved 25 Aug 2011. 
  2. ^ Gordon, Yefim; Dmitry Komissarov (2008). Chinese Aircraft. Manchester: Hikoki Publications. ISBN 9 781902 109046. 


  • Gordon, Yefim; Dmitry Komissarov (2008). Chinese Aircraft. Manchester: Hikoki Publications. ISBN 9 781902 109046. 

External links[edit]