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China to build world’s biggest commercial drone

(People's Daily Online)    16:33, December 18, 2017

China's heaviest cargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) AT200 prepares for its maiden flight in Neifu Airport in Pucheng, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Oct. 26, 2017. China's heaviest cargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) completed its maiden flight in northwest China's Shaanxi Province Thursday. With a maximum take-off weight of around 3.4 tonnes and a payload of 1.5 tonnes, the AT200 could be one of the world's most powerful civilian UAVs. (Xinhua)

A Chinese company on Dec.17 announced its plan to build the world’s biggest commercial drone, marking the country’s latest move to step up research in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies.

According to the company, Sichuan Tengdun Technology Co., Ltd, the new commercial drone will have a take-off weight of 45 tons and a maximum flying range of 7,500 kilometers, as well as a wingspan of 42 meters. It will also use carbon fiber composite materials to ensure its long-endurance.

The new drone will be applied in air freight, forest fire control, and emergency relief. It is expected to make its maiden flight in 2020, China Youth Daily reported.

Photo taken on May 24, 2017 shows a solar drone on its test flight. China has successfully tested near-space flight of its largest solar drone. With a wingspan of 45 meters, the solar-powered drone is capable of flying at an altitude of 20 to 30 kilometers, and cruising at a speed of 150 to 200 km per hour for a long time. The unmanned aerial vehicle will be used mostly for airborne early warning, aerial reconnaissance, disaster monitoring, meteorological observation and communications relay. (Xinhua)

China has been stepping up research and manufacturing in drones in recent years and has made great achievement. In May, its first near-space solar drone, the Rainbow, successfully made a flight at an altitude of 20 kilometers, while in October, China’s heaviest cargo UAV, the AT200, which has a maximum take-off weight of around 3.4 tons and a payload capacity of 1.5 tons, conducted a successful 26-minute maiden flight.

According to Xinhua, China’s robust drone industry is likely to see its market value swell to 75 billion RMB ($11.54 billion) by 2025.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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