Shenyang BA-5

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The Shenyang BA-5 (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supplied to the PRC by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s before all such Soviet technical aid to the nation was withdrawn.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.

The BA-5 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 BA-5. BA-5 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.

CK-1: basic target drone

CK-1A: nuclear radiation sampling variant

CK-1B: low altitude variant for assessing air defense systems

CK-1C: high manoeuvrability variant for assessing interceptor and attack aircraft

CK-1E: ultra-low altitude variant

People’s Republic of China
People’s Liberation Army Air Force

Powerplant: 1 × Wopen WP-6 turbojet, 24.5 kN (5,500 lbf)

Max. Takeoff Weight
Max Speed

ChinaShenyang Aircraft CorporationNanjing