Chengdu Aircraft Xianglong

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The Chengdu Xianglong (translated as “Soaring Dragon”) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A model of the Xianglong was unveiled during the Air Show China 2006 by Chengdu Aircraft, according to Sino Defense Today. The UAV has joined wings — a subset of closed-wing systems , comprising a sweptback forward wing and a forward-swept aft wing.

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 7,500 kg and a mission payload of 650 kg. The UAV has a cruise speed of 750 km/h and a maximum range of 7,000 km. According to information disclosed on Zhuhai Airshow, the UAV has a wingspan of 25 meters, 5.4 meters in height and 14.3 meters in length.

The UAV appears to be a high-altitude, long-duration UAV for strategic reconnaissance, similar in size and arrangement to the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk. But unlike the Global Hawk, the Xianglong does not possess global operation capability. With the deployment of such a long-range, high-altitude strategic reconnaissance UAV or any similar type of reconnaissance aircraft that covers a wide area, more data capacity or channels will be freed up for smaller tactical reconnaissance UAVs.

The Xianglong completed its high-speed taxing test in October 2008, and the maiden flight was expected to take place in early 2009, however this was delayed until December 2009.

Also known as the Sky Wing III.


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ChinaChengdu AircraftChengdu