xi's moments
Home | Innovation

New delivery drone close to first flight

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-08 09:08

An HH-100 commercial unmanned cargo plane. [Photo/Xinhua]

AVIC's HH-100 will be able to carry 700-kilogram payload 520 kilometers

A new large drone model built by Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country's leading aircraft manufacturer, has entered the flight-test phase and will carry out its first flight soon, according to the State-owned conglomerate.

The HH-100 commercial unmanned cargo plane finished its final high-speed autonomous taxiing test, the last preparatory task before its maiden flight, at Beichuan Yongchang Airport in Sichuan province on Wednesday, AVIC said in a news release.

During the test, an HH-100 prototype taxied at a high speed on a runway and then slightly lifted its nose wheel, verifying the model's autonomous taxiing control system, AVIC said. After the test, the HH-100 project will begin its flight test phase, the company said.

The model's taxiing test phase started in early March at Beichuan Yongchang Airport.

Developed by AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry in Shaanxi province, HH-100 is the latest freight drone model to have emerged as a result of the nation's flourishing express delivery industry and the government's efforts to make full use of China's low-altitude airspace.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 2 metric tons, an HH-100 will be able to fly 520 kilometers with a payload of 700 kilograms, and even farther with lighter payloads.

The twin-engine model has been designed with a maximum cruising speed of 300 km per hour and a ceiling altitude of 5,000 meters.

Dong Jianhong, the HH-100's chief designer, said the drone will be capable of serving a wide range of businesses, including short-range cargo transportation, fire monitoring and suppression, delivery of emergency supplies and cloud seeding.

The drone features many advantages such as low costs in procurement, operations and maintenance, and a high payload capacity. All of its components are domestically made, he said.

In addition to the HH-100, AVIC has designed and tested several cargo drone models.

The largest of them, the TP2000, will be able to carry up to 2 metric tons of cargo and will have a flight radius of 2,000 km. It is expected to conduct its maiden flight next year.

Industry observers say drones are expected to have many opportunities for development as China relaxes its control over low-altitude airspace and enjoys the continued growth of its online shopping industry.

Nearly all of China's large couriers, including China Post and SF Express, as well as online retailing giant JD have been investing in delivery drones for many years, hoping to take advantage of the country's expertise in drone systems to build affordable, high-efficiency fleets of drones to service time-sensitive consumers.

Globally, Amazon and DHL Express have developed and used drones for delivery service in some trial runs, and are continuing to fund such programs.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349