HQ-4 Xianglong UAV Ready for Flight

Xianlong High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV from China.

The Chinese Xianglong ‘Soaring Dragon’ UAV was recently seen at Chengdu seemingly prepared for the first test flight. The Soaring Dragon uses an innovative ‘joined wing’ design, employing a conventional swept wing joined with a forward swept wing. A model depicting this configurationwas shown at the Zuhai China Airshow 2006.

Xianglong is powered by a single jet engine is mounted on top of the fuselage, between the forward-swept tail wings. Xianglong has a normal take-off weight of 7,500kg. Cruising at a speed of 750km/h, Xianglong has a maximum range of 7,000km. The UAV carries a mission payload of 650kg.

A different type of jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle, developed under a joint venture between the Guizhou Aviation Group and the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (CADI) is also designated Xianglong. It flew its maiden flight on November 7, 2009. It was a smaller design, roughly the size of a Predator, this version of Xianglong was fitted with a V tail and swept wings witha span larger than the current design.

A model of the Xianglong High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV.