China’s uncrewed freighter TP500 has successfully flown its maiden flight, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced.

The cargo drone flew for 27 minutes without any technical issues, said AVIC, which developed the TP500 as a general-purpose transporter with a maximum range of 1,800 km, and a range of 500 km with a 500 kg load.

Chinese drone programme

The test flight was carried out in Jingmen, a city in Central China’s Hubei province, on 18 June.

China’s AVIC is developing a number of civil UAVs, including both fixed-wing and multi-rotor aircraft.

They include the Harrier Hawk, a medium-altitude UAV system, Aries, a hybrid UAV with both piston and electric power, and Southern Cross, a drone that combines vertical take-off and landing and high-speed cruise capabilities.

They are to be used for a variety of functions including mapping, patrol, survey, monitoring and emergency management.

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