China’s TP500 cargo drone, the country’s first large unmanned transport aircraft produced under the requirements of the Chinese Civil Aviation Regulation (CCAR), made its inaugural flight last Saturday (18) in the city of Jingmen, in Hubei province. The freighter took off at 6:18 am local time and performed a flight of approximately 27 minutes without any complications, as announced by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The aircraft, developed and manufactured exclusively by the AVIC First Aircraft Institute, can carry a standard payload of 500 kilograms with a range of up to 500 kilometers. AVIC further noted that the plane is a general-purpose unmanned transport platform with a large payload and a maximum range of 1,800 kilometers (the less payload, the farther it can go).
According to the China Times, the TP500 primarily serves the needs of the unmanned cargo transport market on the mainland, as well as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and other countries and regions. In addition to transporting cargo, the aircraft can be adapted to perform tasks such as remote sensing mapping, communication support and emergency rescue.
More information about the project, as well as the engine used, should be released in the near future.