The People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently commissioned its 3-seater gyroplane is expected to be deployed as a patrol vehicle along China's southwestern Tibet region mainly bordering India and Nepal, state media reported.
The new Lieying gyroplane, ‘Falcon’ is equipped with three seats instead of two in earlier models and has a more powerful engine with 135 horsepower and a rotor blade measuring 8.8 meters. It carries more fuel than the two-seater versions due to a redesigned fuel tank, according to Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical focused on the national defense industry.
The higher payload compared to the two seat model enables the ‘Falcon’ to carry more personnel and weapons, transport wounded personnel, and conduct missions like two-person parachuting, the report said.
The three-seater ‘Falcon’ can transport up to 630 kilograms and take off, fly, and land at an elevation of 4,200 meters, the magazine reported. With sledges as landing gears, the gyroplane can take off and land on ice and snow surfaces, the report said, noting that it can also land and take off on water when equipped with floatation gear.
The new Lieying ‘Falcon is suitable for plateau operations in regions like Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The Falcon can infiltrate hostile areas during stealth reconnaissance missions due to its agility, small size, and low noise output, the expert said.
The Lieying, developed by Shaanxi Bao He Defense Technology, made its PLA debut at China's the National Day parade on October 1, 2019.