The AVIC TP500 is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) designed to ferry cargo-centric payloads over range. It is primarily designed as a "Point A-to-Point B" solution and can cover sorties typically seen throughout both military and civilian (freight, humanitarian) markets with an inherent capability to operate from ships in a ship-to-shore role as well. It is marketed as a low-cost solution, headlined by the China Aviation Industry Design Institute (AVIC) in cooperation with private entity Yitong UAV System Company, Ltd (assembly) - the latter's involvement used to ease development and long-term program costs.
A monoplane wing assembly is fitted low to the sides of the fuselage while the empennage mounts a single vertical tail fin and a single, shared horizontal plane / elevator. The system features an oversized body / fuselage to accommodate various internally-held payloads up to 500 kilograms (1,100lb). The engine is fitted to the front of the design in conventional fashion with the unit driving a three-bladed propeller unit sporting a large spinner at center. Ground-running is managed through a wheeled tricycle arrangement.
The TP500 carries with it all-composite construction, balancing the desired strength with the needed operating weight. Its rated Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is 1.4 tons, equaling 2,800 lb.
Beyond its freight-handling roles, its designers see a broadened mission set for the UAV that includes Search & Rescue (SAR), airborne communications relay, and survey mapping.
The TP500 was on display at the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China 2021) during September 2021.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Fuselage volume includes space for internally-held weapons or special-mission equipment.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Design incorporates feature(s) that facilitates loading / unloading of cargo / personnel from the aircraft.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.
36.0 ft (10.97 m)
36.1 ft (11.00 m)
1,433 lb (650 kg)
2,866 lb (1,300 kg)
+1,433 lb (+650 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base AVIC TP500 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base AVIC TP500 production variant)
1 x Engine driving three-bladed propeller in conventional puller/tractor arrangement.
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