Zhong Tian Guide Control Technology Company (China) announced that it has successfully completed the maiden flight of its Feilong-1 (Flying Dragon-1) Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE UAV).
After careful preparation by all members, Feilong -1 successfully completed its first flight. During the flight process, the working conditions of each system were stable, and the technical parameters were in line with theoretical calculations and analysis, which effectively verified the rationality of the overall design, the company said.
Dragon -1 completed its first flight in Shaanxi Province Pucheng airport within the government, to complete a perfect air debut. The research and development of this product has made a major breakthrough and marks a milestone, laying a solid foundation for further improvement of the follow-up products and the final delivery of users, it added.
The Feilong -1 large payload long-haul universal delivery platform is the primary research and development task of Zhongtian Feilong, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zhongtian. It is aimed at domestic and foreign users for air logistics and freight transportation, high-altitude observation on the ground, border patrol, maritime search and rescue, loading. The urgent need for forest fire prevention with fire-fighting bombs was developed.
The prototype for Feilong-1 was first unveiled at the Airshow China 2018 exhibition in Zhuhai and called the ‘Large Payload Long Endurance Universal Unmanned Transportation Platform’.
According to official specifications the FL-1 has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 3,200 kg with a payload capacity of 1,400 kg inclusive of fuel. Two hard points can be mounted under each wing, with each hard point capable of carrying up to 250 kg of stores.
The FL-1 bears a strong physical resemblance to the 3,300 kg-class Cai Hong-5 (Rainbow-5 or CH-5) MALE UAVs manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It has an aerodynamically shaped fuselage that measures about 10 m long and features a bulged nose section and retractable tricycle undercarriage, mid-mounted wings that are approximately 20 m in span, and a V-shaped tail assembly incorporating a pair of fins and rudders.
Both air vehicles are also equipped with a ventral electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) turret, although the FL-1 features pronounced wing root fairings, which offer some visual distinction from the CH-5.
The air vehicle is powered by a rear-mounted heavy fuel engine of an undisclosed type with a dorsal intake. This engine drives a three-bladed pusher propeller, which enables the vehicle to cruise at speeds of up to 240 km/h at altitudes of 16,404-19,685 ft and attain an operating ceiling of 26,246 ft.