China’s AR500C Unmanned Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight

China’s new AR500C unmanned helicopter has made its maiden flight in Poyang in East China’s Jiangxi Province on May 20.

The helicopter is developed by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the maiden flight took place at an AVIC base. During the flight, the UAV conducted several maneuvers including hovering, horizontal, and vertical flights.

The UAV is visually similar to Austria’s Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and Sweden/Switzerland’s UMS Skeldar V-200 unmanned helicopters.

According to an AVIC statement, the AR500C’s main missions include reconnaissance and communication relay, but when equipped with additional devices, it can also run electronic disruption, target indication, fire strike, cargo delivery and nuclear radiation and chemical contamination reconnaissance.

As China’s first unmanned helicopter designed to fly in plateau areas, the AR500C can take off at an elevation of 5,000 meters and has a ceiling of 6,700 meters. It has an endurance of five hours, a maximum speed of 170 kilometers an hour, and a maximum takeoff weight of 500 kilograms.

AVIC is also developing other types of unmanned helicopters including other AV500 variants such as the AV500W armed reconnaissance variant.

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