China’s largest unmanned helicopter goes into service

The largest unmanned helicopter ever manufactured by China is now in service in east China’s Shandong province, the provincial land and resources department said Thursday.

The mid-sized helicopter has passed all required flight tests and is fully operational, the department said.

The helicopter, capable of flying as high as 3,000 meters at a top speed of 161 km per hour with a payload of 80 kg, can be controlled from a maximum distance of 150 km or programmed to fly automatically, according to Cheng Shenzong, board chairman of Weifang Tianxiang Aerospace Industry Co., Ltd., a company that helped develop the aircraft.

The helicopter can be used to conduct geological surveys, as well as aid in emergency rescue operations, aerial photography and forest fire prevention, Cheng said.

At least 15 such helicopters have been ordered for production, Cheng said.

The helicopter was jointly developed by Weifang Tianxiang Aerospace Industry Co., Ltd., Qingdao Haili Helicopter Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation.

Xinhua