On October 26, a large-scale cargo unmanned aerial vehicle (AT200), jointly developed by the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions, completed its maiden flight which lasted 26 minutes in Pucheng, Shaanxi Province. This marks the birth of the world's first tonnage-class cargo UAV.
AT200 is an unmanned aircraft with full length 11.84 meters, wingspan 12.8 meters, height 4.04 meters, the maximum take-off weight 3.4 tons, warehouse volume 10 cubic meters, and effective load 1.5 tons.
AT200, equipped with advanced flight control system and command system, is completely free from the dependence on the pilot and can realize "auto take-off and landing with one-button." in the charge center.
The UAV has breached the key technologies of aircraft-engine-control system matching, aircraft aerodynamic parameter identification, whole machine quality characteristic test and system comprehensive test, etc., and it has unique performance advantages such as large freight load, long flight duration and amazing take-off and landing ability.
The cruising speed of AT200 is 313 km/h, with a duration of 8 hours and a voyage of 2183 kilometers. Aircraft laden with cargo can fulfill take-off and landing within 200 meters even in the slope and grassland. Therefore, in the western mountainous area and high altitude areas where the land transportation is undeveloped, it can also complete the point-to-point freight feeder transportation.
The research team said that the next step would be to advance airworthiness certificate obtaining for an early commercial operation.
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