Print 52 comment(s) - last by Mitch101.. on Nov 29 at 2:56 PM

Chinese CH-4 Drone  (Source: Want ChinaTimes)

MQ-9 Reaper Drone  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Chinese defense companies copy the US

The Chinese military establishment has long copied military hardware from other parts of the world, including the U.S. Some Chinese military drones have been seen at China's Zhuhai air show in model form.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation built the CH-4 and it’s clear that the U.S. Reaper drone heavily influenced its design. The CH-4 has a claimed endurance of 30 hours and can travel nearly 2,000 miles at altitudes of up to 5 miles.
Another drone on display is built by Chengdu Aircraft Design is called the Wing Loong, and it also resembles the Reaper according to reports.

Of all the military drones on display at the air show, however, Defense News reports that the Wing Loong garnered the most attention. That drone reportedly has export deals in the works and the static display at the show features four hard points for weapons (laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground missiles, etc).

Another weapon on display, the Bateleur, was said to be a copy of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing. However, simply copying the V-22 Osprey would be a difficult endeavor, as that highly complex aircraft has been plagued with numerous problems during its lifetime.
This isn’t the first time that mimicry has struck Chinese aircraft design. China’s J-20 stealth fighter looks suspiciously similar to Northrop-Grumman and Lockheed Martin stealth fighter designs.

Source: Defense News

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RE: Knockoff
By Camikazi on 11/27/2012 10:13:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well they used to be serious innovators thousands of years ago but they lost that ability long ago.

RE: Knockoff
By dsx724 on 11/27/2012 10:45:17 AM , Rating: 1
Most innovators around the world are in the US for various reasons. Most of our innovations are by foreign scientists and engineers anyway. In the last 100 years in China, it's relatively dangerous to innovate. However, that situation is quickly reversing.

RE: Knockoff
By Mitch101 on 11/27/2012 12:31:08 PM , Rating: 5
The R&D is the majority of the cost of nearly anything so if someone else has solved the majority of issues in design why not copy it? There is a ton of reasons probably behind how and why the drone was designed the way it is so copying a successful design is actually smart.

Whats sad is if their copy works better than the original.

RE: Knockoff
By WinstonSmith on 11/28/2012 9:26:28 AM , Rating: 2
"copying a successful design is actually smart"

It is. Another example of a really obvious copy was the Soviet Buran, a copy of the Space Shuttle.

RE: Knockoff
By Mitch101 on 11/29/2012 2:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
Thats actually the first thing that came to mind when I saw china did this. China copied the Soviets.

RE: Knockoff
By Nortel on 11/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: Knockoff
By headbox on 11/27/2012 2:23:10 PM , Rating: 5
Two completely unrelated statements. Good job.

RE: Knockoff
By bupkus on 11/27/2012 4:03:58 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed, even if these two paragraphs are separated by a blank line.
Maybe you'd be okay with it if he had used bullets.

RE: Knockoff
By GulWestfale on 11/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Knockoff
By FaaR on 11/27/2012 6:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
The point of the article is american self-reinforcing chest-thumping and patriotism, in difficult economic times where the nation's impression of itself as a world-leading empire is wavering.

...That tools that perform the same functions tend to look similar or identical is not something that the author - or most commenters - want to dwell on. Better to simply assume without any actual evidence that the designs for these aircraft were ripped-off wholesale.

RE: Knockoff
By Solandri on 11/27/2012 10:53:17 PM , Rating: 3
all drones look like US drones, because they all fly through the same air and thus are subject to the same laws of aerodynamics. thus a boeing looks like an airbus, which looks like a mcdonnell douglas, which looks like a tupolev, which looks like a caravelle, which looks like a... you get my point.

That's only true at high mach numbers, where aerodynamic forces dominate. At the slow speeds these drones travel, you can make practically anything fly.

There are some aspects which will be similar (e.g. glider-like wing aspect ratio for maximization of endurance). But the choice of a bulbous payload dome in front, butterfly tail, and pusher prop are all optional design elements. It's a pretty strong indication their hackers managed to get blueprints for this particular drone.

RE: Knockoff
By Pessimism on 11/29/2012 9:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Knockoff
By Jeffk464 on 11/27/2012 11:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
The blended body is suppose to be the most efficient aerodynamically. So if you were going strictly by aerodynamics this would be the shape you would see. The fact is that China is absolutely doing complete copies of other air frames, check out the J-15 its basically a part by part copy.

RE: Knockoff
By BZDTemp on 11/28/2012 12:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Most innovators around the world are in the US for various reasons.

I much doubt that. You got any data to back that up?

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