STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
OPERATORS: China; Egypt; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; Nigeria; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan
LENGTH: 29.69 feet (9.05 meters)
WIDTH: 45.93 feet (14 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.09 feet (2.77 meters)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 2,425 pounds (1,100 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Conventionally-powered engine driving a three-bladed propeller in pusher configuration at rear of fuselage.
SPEED (MAX): 174 miles-per-hour (280 kilometers-per-hour; 151 knots)
RANGE: 3,107 miles (5,000 kilometers; 2,700 nautical miles)
CEILING: 16,404 feet (5,000 meters; 3.11 miles)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Chengdu (AVIC) Wing-Loong (Pterodactyl) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
Entry last updated on 10/10/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Chengdu Pterodactyl I (also known as the Wing-Loong I) was unveiled by company representatives during the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Zhuhai) in 2010. The system is a "Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance" (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with provision having been developed to convert the type into an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) by supporting various precision munition options. A first-flight is believed to have occurred during 2009 and flight testing into 2013. At least one prototype was lost during development.
Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAC) holds a decades-long history concerning modern Chinese aviation, having begun operations as a manufacturer of Soviet-originated jet aircraft during the Cold War during a time when a close relationship between the two Asian powers ruled. Since then, the concern has evolved to designing, developing and producing largely indigenous products for use by the Chinese military and allies (the latter only when export is approved). The Pterodactyl UAV is one such creation, approved for export and, to date, having been evaluated (though not selected) by Pakistan for its MALE UAV requirement.
Externally, the Pterodactyl showcases an appearance not unlike the American "Predator" UAV series, complete with its bulbous nose housing, streamlined fuselage, wheeled undercarriage and outward cranked vertical tail fins. The main wing assemblies are also straight appendages and can hold underwing stores (it is envisioned that the system will make use of up to four underwing guided bombs or missiles). A blister, held under the nose, contains traversing optics. The undercarriage is wheeled for easier management of the system by ground personnel and is fully-retractable into the body of the vehicle when in flight - all of the legs retract rearwards to promote strong aerodynamic qualities. Power is served through a rear-mounted conventional engine driving a three-bladed propeller assembly in a "pusher" configuration.
Internally, the Pterodactyl is being testing with various equipment packages. The aircraft is suspected to carry a synthetic aperture radar system as well as FLIR (Forward-Looking Infra-Red). The total listed payload of the Pterodactyl series is expected to be in the vicinity of 220lbs on production-quality models. Listed specifications include a 175 mile per hour maximum speed, 2,500 mile operational range (with 20 hour mission endurance time reported) and an operating service ceiling of 16,400 feet.
The Wing-Loong II is a modified, upgraded model with greater support for munitions-carrying - up to twelve-air-to-surface missiles are promoted at underwing hadpoints. It sports a 9,300lb weight and 36-foot wingspan.
February 2017 - The advanced Wing-Loong II made its first-flight on February 27th, 2017. The flight lasted 31 minutes.
June 2017 - The Wing-Loong II was showcased at the Paris Air Show 2017.
October 2018 - Pakistan has committed to the purchase of a fleet of Wing Loong II series attack UAVs from China.
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General Assessment (BETA)
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating (BETA)
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (174mph).
Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Chengdu Wing-Loong I's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units