Three Chinese vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have successfully conducted high-altitude tests on the Tibetan Plateau (also known as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau), according to a 24 November report by the state-owned China Daily newspaper.
The paper quoted the Jiangxi Provincial Office of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense as saying on 18 November that the AV500W armed reconnaissance UAV conducted firing tests in Qinghai at an altitude of 4,300 m above sea level.
The AV500W was revealed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) at the Airshow China 2016 exhibition in Zhuhai. The platform is essentially a weaponised variant of the civilian model AV500 VTOL UAV modified to improve its structural rigidity, payload capacity, and overall performance for military applications.
The AV500 was also among the recently tested platforms, with the reconnaissance UAV climbing to an altitude of 5,006 m during tests carried out on 31 October; the maximum altitude achieved by a Chinese-made VTOL UAV, according to the paper.
The paper also referred to the AVIC XM20 multi-rotor UAV, stating that it took off and landed with a full payload at an altitude of 4,600 m on 9 November.
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