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Chengdu (AVIC) Wing-Loong (Pterodactyl)

China (2014)
Picture of Chengdu (AVIC) Wing-Loong (Pterodactyl) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Chengdu Wing Loong UAV drone serves double-duty for several global customers beyond China as it can be modified to undertake various over-battlefield roles including attack.


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 10/24/2017. 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.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (174mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Chengdu Wing-Loong I's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
250
250


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: China
Year: 2014
Type: Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
Production: 250
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
China; Egypt; Kazakhstan; Nigeria; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Chengdu Wing-Loong I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
29.69 ft


Meters
9.05 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
45.93 ft


Meters
14 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.09 ft


Meters
2.77 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,425 lb


Kilograms
1,100 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Conventionally-powered engine driving a three-bladed propeller in pusher configuration.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
174 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
280 kph


Knots
151 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
3,107 mi


Kilometers
5,000 km


Nautical Miles
2,700 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
16,404 ft


Meters
5,000 m


Miles
3.11 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

Typically sensor equipment. Up to 220lb of external air-to-surface weaponry (Wing-Loong I).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Wing-Loong - Base Series Designation
• Pterosaur I - Original flying model of 2005
• Wing-Loong I - Alternative name; first-flight in 2009.
• Wing-Loong II - Improved, upgraded model with increased support for underwing munitions; 36-foot wingspan; 9,300lb weight; 1,058lb payload.
• WJ-1 - Land-attack model; sans chin blister; debuted November 2014.
• GJ-1 - PLAAF service designation; land-attack model; improved capability including self-designation of targets; underwing weapons support and chin blister housing optics set.