BUAA UAV

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BUAA UAVs are Chinese UAVs developed by Beihang University (BUAA), which are intended for various missions such as experimental research, reconnaissance missions, and some have since entered service with Chinese military and governmental establishments.

Booby[edit]

Booby (Jian-Niao or Jianniao, 鲣鸟) UAV is the first Chinese UAV that is capable of being launched underwater; this Chinese experimental UAV is also the second UAV in the world that can be launched underwater, after Lockheed Martin Cormorant. Booby UAV is designed by BUAA Cruise Sky (Xun-Tian or Xuntian, 巡天) team which included members such as students Mr. Yao Guo-Cai (姚国才) and Mr. Zhang Yi-Cheng (张以成), and the team is headed by associate professor Mr. Liang Jian-Hong (梁建宏); the team was first formed in 2004 and the UAV took a year to develop, and finally made its public debut in October 2012 at the sixtieth anniversary of BUAA. The UAV also appeared in the 2013 AVIC Challenger Cup competition.[1]

Long Eagle[edit]

Long Eagle (Chang-Ying or Changying, 长鹰) UAV is a Chinese high altitude, long endurance (HALE) jet powered UAV designed by UAV Design and Research Institute (北京航空航天大学无人驾驶飞行器设计研究所) (UAVDRI) of BUAA; the program first begun in 2000, but the existence of the program was officially confirmed by the Chinese government almost a decade later at 8th Zhuhai Airshow in 2008. The program was finally completed in 2011, under strict secrecy with little information released to the public; the general designer of Long Eagle is then 36-year-old department chairman Mr. Xiang Jin-Wu (向锦武, 1964 -), who was eventually promoted to the position of the head of UAVDRI of BUAA, and there were two deputy general designers, Mrs. Wei Zhi-Mian (韦志棉) and Mr. Wang Yin-Xun (王英勋), who is also responsible for flight control system. An associate dean of BUAA, Mr. Fei Bin-Jun (费斌军) and an assistant dean of BUAA, Mr. Li Xin-Jun (李新军) were assigned as the project manager and deputy project manager respectively, and the technical staff of the project design team includes more than a hundred twenty members, some of whom came from the direct competitor of BUAA, NUAA, such as Mr. Wang Hong-Lun (王宏伦); the current deputy head of UAVDRI of BUAA, Mr. Guo Hong (郭宏), who was the youngest professor at BUAA at the time, was assigned as chief quality engineer. Externally, BUAA Long Eagle looks extremely similar to Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and another Chinese UAV, CAIG Sky Wing III, and performs similar missions, but the exact performance parameter and physical characteristics of BUAA Long Eagle has not yet publicized by official Chinese governmental sources yet.[2]

Drone-6[edit]

Drone-6 (Ba-6 or靶-6) UAV is a high speed drone developed by BUAA to support the development of HQ-3 surface-to-air missile (SAM). High speed drones were needed to support the development of SAMs, but in the early 1960s, Chinese attempt to import high speed drones failed due to international embargo, and China had to come up with its own solution. Proposal begun in 1964 and was approved in December of that same year. Originally, BUAA was a subcontractor in the initial assignment of November 1965, but in May 1967 in the reassignement, it became the prime contractor. During the reassignment, additional requirement was issued: in addition to be a high speed drone, another task added was to simulate Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird in support of the development of HQ-3, thus increased the performance specification.

Drone-6 airframe is based on HQ-2 SAM, with control surfaces modified. One control surface at the empennage is deleted and the rest three were enlarged. A pair of control surfaces near the nose cone is also deleted. A control surface mounted in the midsection of the missile is also deleted, and the remaining three are enlarged, but the one control surface mounted opposite to the one deleted is moved backward toward the empennage; the location of the deleted control surface in the middle is used for installation of a ramjet engine, designed by the 3rd Academy of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry. Control surfaces are constructed of fiber glass and in chopped delta wing shape.

CF-03B ramjet is the propulsion engine of Drone-6 and it required mother aircraft to reach speed of Mach 0.75 to release Drone-6. A solid rocket booster motor is attached at the end of engine, with output power at 70.5 t/s, with sustaining time of 3.5 to 4.7 seconds. At an altitude of 8 km, the thrust of CF-03B ramjet is 2018 kg and propels Drone-6 to Mach 2.2. At an altitude of 20 km, the thrust of CF-03B is 446 kg and propels Drone-6 to Mach 2.5. Drone-6 is usually launched at an altitude of 9.3 km. Obviously, such speeds are too slow to simulate SR-71, and this was one of the primary reasons the Drone-6 project was finally cancelled. Although failing to fulfill the mission of simulating SR-71, Drone-6 was used in extremely limited application is support of developing other SAMs, mainly because there was nothing else to replace it, as a result of political turmoil in China at the time, namely, Cultural Revolution, which also prevented later plans to improve CF-03B ramjet from being carried out.

Design was completed in 1967 by BUAA and the first batch consisted three units, one for static testing, one for payload testing on Xi'an H-6, and the remaining for actual test flight, and the maiden flight was completed in September 1969. Four more units were subsequently completed in 1970. Drone-6 is designed to be air-launched by Xi’an H-6 and recovered by parachute. Specification:[3]

  • Length (m): 10.865
  • fuselage length (m): 8
  • fuselage diameter (m): 0.5
  • Wing span (m): 2.646
  • Wing area (sq m): 3.5
  • Height (m): 3.466
  • Weight (t): 1.585
  • Fuselage weight (t): 0.87
  • Empty weight (t): 0.662
  • Fuel (t): 195
  • Speed (Mach): 2.2 – 2.5
  • Ceiling (km): 18 – 20
  • Range (km): 150
  • g overload: 1
  • Launch: air-launched
  • Launch speed (Mach): 0.75
  • Recovery: parachute
  • Recovery speed (m/s): 9

M-21[edit]

M-21 UAV is a fixed wing UAV developed by BUAA and development was completed in July 2002.[4] M-21 is in conventional layout with high wing configuration and tricycle landing gear; the UAV is equipped with air data and navigational computers, GPS, radio altimeter, auto-gyros, and can be either remotely piloted or fully autonomous. Propulsion is provided by a piston engine which enables the UAV to attend altitude of 4 km, and if turbocharger is incorporated, the ceiling is increased to 7 km.[5] Specification:[6]

  • Wing span (m): 9.2
  • Length (m): 6.1
  • Height (m): 2
  • Empty weight (kg): 240
  • Payload (kg): 60 – 100
  • Max take-off weight (kg): 460
  • Propulsion: 80 hp propeller driven engine
  • Max speed (km/h): 160
  • Cruise speed (km/h): 130
  • Take-off distance (m): 160
  • Endurance (hr): 12
  • Range (km): 1500
  • Remote control radius (km): 100

Cargo Drone[edit]

Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System Technology expects to partners with Cainiao, a logistics company controlled by e-retailer Alibaba Group, to develop and market cargo drones; the design should be finished by 2018 end, a prototype constructed in 2019 and test flights should begin in 2020 to establish a delivery network around 2025. The twin engine aircraft would be 11.9 m (39 ft) long with a 19.6 m (64 ft) wingspan and a 3.6 t (7,900 lb) maximum takeoff weight, for a 1,500 km (810 nmi) range carrying 1 t (2,200 lb) of cargo within 16 m3 (570 cu ft), cruising at 360 km/h (190 kn).[7]

See also[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Booby UAV". Archived from the original on 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  2. ^ Long Eagle
  3. ^ Drone-6
  4. ^ M-21 Unmanned aerial vehicle
  5. ^ M-21 UAV
  6. ^ "M-21". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  7. ^ Zhao Lei (2018-05-31). "Biggest civilian drone designed for couriers". China Daily.