China’s HALE Revealed – First Photos

Chinese Internet pictures reveal a new unmanned aircraft with a diamond-shape wing structure – a joined wing and tail that could considerably increase range and payload and produce better handling at high altitudes. The new Xianglong is equipped with a jet engine mounted on top of the fuselage between the V-shape tail wings.

According to Chinese media reports, Xianglong has a normal take-off weight of 7,500kg and a mission payload of 650kg. It has a cruise speed of 750km/h and a maximum range of 7,000km.

The photographs appear to have been taken at Chengdu Aircraft Corporation’s (CAC) ramp. In the same size class as the General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc. Avenger, and powered by a single turbofan engine, the new UAS is the most advanced Chinese design seen to date and the largest joined-wing aircraft known to have been built. 

At the 2006 Zhuhai Aie Show, China displayed one similar model, which was also called “Xianglong”.

Sources: China Defense Mashup, Aviation Week

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