Chinese UAV & UCAV development


Here is the spec
1st successful flight of the #drone AR500C, designed for highland regions by the Chinese group AVIC. MTOW 500kg, takeoff altitude 5000m, ceiling 6700m, Vmax 170km / h.

Practically double the pay load,ceiling of older AV 500 Excellent here is the comparison

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AV-500 UAV is developed by CHRDI and produced by CAIC. AV-500 based on the experience gained from U8E, and it is named as its maximum take-off weight of 500 kg. Like U8E, AV-500 is also an unmanned helicopter in conventional layout with a pair of skids as landing gear. Specification:
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  • Weight (kg): 480 – 500
  • Payload (kg): 140
  • Ceiling (km): 3.5
  • Endurance (hr): 6
  • Cruise speed (km): 160
  • Max speed (km): 180
  • Control radius (km): 150


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Which is the prettiest UAV from China ? Most of them actually look horrendous.
I would say WZ-8 and GJ-11. All UAVs from all countries look quite similar and all except the flying wing or "exotic" (WZ-8) ones look horrendous. So that leaves these two from China, the US X-47B (cancelled but at least made and worked), and the Russian Okhotnik. The French Neuron stayed a plastic mockup and never made it into the air. Taranis looks cool too but was an empty shell demonstrator without the depth of X-47B program which demonstrated almost all required operational capabilities and only canceled to make way for better alternatives.

The reason most drones look horrendous is because of their wing and fuselage design which converge on certain engineering principles. Only the UAVs I meantioned above have some serious sweep and aerodynamic "sexiness" going on. The rest are designed to loiter and fly long ranges and some of them like soar dragon for extreme high altitudes.
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Here is the video of the new Ar 500C according to the designer it use new rotor design and maybe new engine allowing it to have double the ceiling and still has MTOW of 500kg
China's new unmanned helicopter completed its maiden flight Wednesday in Jiangxi Province. The AR500C aircraft, developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), can fly at an altitude of 5,000 meters to conduct missions related to electronic reconnaissance, anti-terrorism, firefighting and disaster evaluation.