China’s newest stealth drone, a long-endurance unmanned aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on Monday, People’s Daily Online reported.
According to a WeChat account affiliated with China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the main contractor and research center for the Chinese program, the stealth drone, dubbed “Tianying,” successfully conducted three test flights, four years after the drone program was first initiated.
According to Zhejiang Television, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drone is 9.85 meters long and weighs 1500 kg on takeoff. Its large wingspan of 18 meters, a lightweight cell made of carbon fiber and the piston engine saving it provide a good enough autonomy, namely 40 hours in flight at a cruising speed of 150 km / h. The drone is also able to carry 370 kg of payloads and fly up to 7,500 meters.
“Eighty percent of our drone’s technologies are the newest and most advanced, some of which are leading the global [drone] industry,” Ma Hongzhong, chief designer of the Tianying stealth drone, was quoted as saying by the WeChat account.
Ma noted that all advanced technologies used on the drone have gone through countless ground tests, while all design parameters have been thoroughly calculated and double-checked.