SX-3 Jehae: Masterpiece of the Korean Fleet Aviation Unit

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SX-3 Jehae



After the Korean War ended, US aid to the Korean Navy was very passive. Of course, it was difficult to expect support from the United States to secure aircraft for the Navy, and the Navy Yard had a budget only for ship repair items, and the Navy Yard Aviation Team, which produced aircraft such as Haechi-ho, did not have an official budget related to aircraft development and research.

As the naval aircraft production project fell into difficulties due to budgetary issues, Admiral Jeong Geum-mo, chief of the Navy Chief of Staff, reorganized the Naval Air Depot Aviation Team into the Aviation Department of the 1st Research Department of the Naval Science Research Institute and instructed the aircraft development project to be actively pursued. Major Cho Gyeong-yeon, who produced the KN-1 Haechi-ho and the SX-1 Seohae-ho, was appointed as the head of the Aviation Department of the 1st Research Department of the Naval Science Research Institute and continued to engage in aircraft manufacturing missions.

Even after the affiliation was changed to the Naval Science Research Institute, the problem of aircraft production cost was not completely resolved. Major Cho decided to use the remains of crashed aircraft during the Korean War to overcome the budget shortfall.

Major Cho went to Seorak Mountain after hearing rumors that numerous US planes had crashed near Seorak Mountain during the Korean War, but all he found were numerous bodies and broken glass. Scrap metal collectors had already sold the aircraft wreckage as scrap metal in the difficult economic situation.

Major Cho and his party visited the Army Air Corps in Chuncheon again. There, he found many planes that had crashed in flight accidents, and he asked for permission to use them for teaching materials and acquired four aircraft engines free of charge.

With these engines, Maj. Cho began building a third Navy self-built aircraft, the SX-3 Jehae-Ho, and another test aircraft, the SX-5 Tonghae-Ho. And on March 30, 1957, after hard work, the Jehaeho was finally completed, and the test flight conducted by Major Jo and Lieutenant Jeong Hak-yoon was also successful.

The Jehae was a medium-sized surface reconnaissance aircraft capable of carrying up to six crew members. It was an aircraft with a different meaning from Haechi-ho and Seohae-ho in that all of the aircraft except for the engine were produced by naval engineers. Above all, the fact that it has armed and attack capabilities for the first time remains of great significance in the history of naval aviation.

Then, on February 27, 1964, an incident occurred when the Jehae-ho went missing at sea. The crew encountered an unexpected sea fog, consumed all the fuel, and landed at sea. The crew drifted for three days in that state, and all the crew were rescued safely on a Japanese ship, but the float on the right side of the ship was destroyed and water entered the inside of the aircraft and sank into the sea.

Technical Data


Length : 11.6m
Span : 13.8m
Weight : 1300kg
Engine : 2 × Continental O-470-11 (2 × 213hp)
Max Speed : 217km/h (135mph)
Cruise Speed : 185km/h (115mph)
Range : 1111.2km (600nm)
Armaments :

  • 12.7mm M2 Browning in the upper decking of the fuselage nose
  • A pair of rocket launchers inboard of the stabilising floats



Photo published in newspapers with the news of SX-3’s disappearance

SX-3 JeHae-ho and Major Cho Gyeong-yeon

Touchdown of SX-3

SX-3 in service with the Navy. Later, as the Fleet Aviation Unit was disbanded, it was transferred to the Coast Guard.

Construction of SX-3 Fuselage

Korean Fleet Aviation Unit

A model of the Jehae-ho made by Reserve Captain Jeong Hak-yoon (left) in his old age

Commemoration of Fleet Aviation Unit Establishment

Video of SX-1 Seohae-ho and SX-3 Jehae-ho




+1 for a South Korean TT, would be a funny low tier vehicle