19 February 2021
by Kelvin Wong
A Teng Yun (Cloud Rider) medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV) prototype was destroyed in a crash in Taitung county, eastern Taiwan, during a routine flight training mission, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) said in an 18 February statement.
“Our Teng Yun UAV took off from Taitung Zhihang Air Base this afternoon to perform routine training,” NCSIST stated. “At 1833 hours [local time], due to the abnormalities in the control system, it executed an emergency landing in accordance with the standard operating procedures, and then [executed a] forced landing on the grassland of Taitung Forest Park.”
Teng Yun prototype MU1612 seen during the unveiling of Taiwan’s indigenous MALE UAV programme in 2015. Prototype MU1611 was lost during a routine training mission in Taitung county on 18 February. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)
“The airframe was damaged following contact with trees [but] no one was hurt,” the institute added, noting that its engineers had already arrived at the crash site to conduct forensic work as well as to recover the UAV’s wreckage and onboard data for further analysis.
News footage revealed that the destroyed UAV had been air vehicle serial number MU1611, one of two known Teng Yun prototypes under development by NCSIST’s Aeronautical System Research Division (ASRD). The surviving prototype, MU1612, was first unveiled to the public – then identified as the MALE UAS (unmanned aircraft system) programme – at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) in August 2015.
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A Teng Yun (Cloud Rider) medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV) prototype...