First Recorded Flight — China's Sky Hawk/Tian Ying Stealth Drone
IndraStra Global

First Recorded Flight — China's Sky Hawk/Tian Ying Stealth Drone

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: China shows its futuristic stealth drone in flight for the first time / Source: CCTV Screengrab

Image Attribute: China shows its futuristic stealth drone in flight for the first time / Source: CCTV Screengrab

On January 5, 2018, China Central Television (CCTV) released the video featuring the "saucer-like  flying wing design " Sky Hawk/Tian Ying drone. It is a high-altitude, long-range and high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle capable of conducting reconnaissance and patrol missions in hostile environments, CCTV reported. The channel also reported that a factory in Taizhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, started building a prototype of the plane in November 2017.


The drone, which is curiously identical to the Northrup Grumman X-47B stealth drone developed for the U.S. Navy was seen taking off and landing from an unnamed airfield, according to the reports. According to the Global Times, the drone first flew in February 2018, but no video record was available before January 5's broadcast. Also, there was a static display of the same drone at the Airshow China 2018 (Zhuhai) in November 2018.


With a wingspan of 18 meters (59 feet), the plane can reach a maximum cruising altitude of 7,500 meters (24,600 feet) and carry 815 pounds (370 kilograms) of payload. Its maximum take-off load is 1.5 tonnes. It is the fourth stealth drone China has unveiled and was kept as a top secret. Other three are, ‘Star Shadow’, an attack drone developed by privately owned UAV company Star; ‘Sharp Sword’ which is said to be able to carry up to two tonnes of bombs; and the CH-805, or Rainbow-805 which is designed to be a target drone for the training of Chinese Air Force soldiers.

With reporting by CCTV, Daily Mail and Global Times