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Chinese Y-5U transport UAV conducts landing, take-off trials

China's Y-5U unmanned transport aircraft has over 3 m 3 more cargo space than the manned Y-5 aircraft in service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA). A cargo delivery system is also being designed for the aircraft. (AVIC/Janes)

China has successfully demonstrated take-off and landing operations of its Y-5U utility and transport unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The Y-5U is an unmanned version of the Shijiazhuang Aircraft Industry Company Y-5B biplane transport aircraft. In a statement on its English-language website in March, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said that the UAV conducted a successful round-trip flight between airports in Inner Mongolia in January. AVIC added that the UAV flew between Moqi General Airport and Arongqitongyong General Airport.

Using satellite imagery, Janes has assessed that the two airports are roughly 85 km apart.

The corporation said that the flight test was divided into two sorties: On 3 January, the Y-5U successfully took off from Moqi Airport and landed at Arongqitongyong Airport. The aircraft subsequently took off from Arongqitongyong on 4 January and returned to Moqi Airport.

According to AVIC, the Y-5U landed “smoothly” at Moqi Airport at 0949 h local time on 4 January. “All flight parameters met expectations and the aircraft was in a stable state,” AVIC added.

The Y-5 utility UAV is the largest general-purpose UAV under development in China, according to AVIC. The Y-5U is being developed to have broad civil and military applications, the corporation added. These roles include “express” delivery of supplies and disaster monitoring and rescue functions.

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