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Chengdu (AVIC) Wing-Loong (Pterodactyl)


Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (2014)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Jump-to: Specifications

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.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/18/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.

November 2018 - The Wing-Loong II was displayed for the first time at the Zhuhai static park complete with PLAAF colors and the designation of "GJ-2".

September 2019 - Serbia has been confirmed as a customer of the Wing-Loong uAV.

February 2020 - The Wing Loong 2 has been operationally used over Libya by the Libyan National Army.

November 2020 - Nigeria is set to receive a pair of Wing-Loong II armed UAVs from China.

Specifications



Service Year
2014

Origin
China national flag graphic
China

Status
ACTIVE
In Active Service.
Crew
0
UNMANNED
Production
250
UNITS


Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
National flag of China National flag of Egypt National flag of Indonesia National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Libya National flag of Nigeria National flag of Pakistan National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of Serbia National flag of the United Arab Emirates China; Egypt; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; Libya (Libyan National Army); Nigeria; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.


Length
29.7 ft
(9.05 m)
Width/Span
45.9 ft
(14.00 m)
Height
9.1 ft
(2.77 m)
MTOW
2,425 lb
(1,100 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Chengdu Wing-Loong I production variant)
Installed: 1 x Conventionally-powered engine driving a three-bladed propeller in pusher configuration at rear of fuselage.
Max Speed
174 mph
(280 kph | 151 kts)
Ceiling
16,404 ft
(5,000 m | 3 mi)
Range
3,107 mi
(5,000 km | 9,260 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Chengdu Wing-Loong I production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
Typically sensor equipment for ISR role but also up to 220lb of externally-held air-to-surface missiles or precision-guided drop munitions held across six total underwing hardpoints (three to a wing).

Known supported ordnance:
KD-10 / BA-7 "Blue Arrow" laser-guided Anti-Tank (AT) missiles.
YZ-102A Laser-Guided Bomb (LGB).
FT-9 WL missile.
GB-7 missile.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 6


Wing-Loong - Base Series Designation
Pterosaur I - Original flying model of 2005
Wing-Loong I - Alternative name; first-flight in 2009; single underwing hardpoint.
Wing-Loong II - Improved, upgraded model with increased support for underwing munitions; 70% composite construction; 36-foot wingspan; 9,300lb weight; 1,058lb payload; six underwing hardpoints; winglets added to latest versions; more powerful diesel-fueled engine for enhanced performance.
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.
GJ-2 - New military designation unveiled on a static Wing-Loong II display at Zhuhai Air Show 2018; showcased in PLAAF colors.


General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
64
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
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
Chengdu Wing-Loong I operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (250)
250
36183
44000
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
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