China’s TP500 cargo drone conducts maiden flight

One of China’s first unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), the TP500, has completed a successful maiden flight. 

According to state-owned news outlet China.org, the TP500 took off for its first flight in Jingmen City, located in central Hubei province, at 6.18 a.m. and touched down at 6.45 a.m. local time on June 18, 2022.  

The maiden flight, which lasted for around 27 minutes, sees the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) take another major step in its development program for large-scale unmanned air transport. 

With a maximum range of up to 1,800 kilometers (more than 1,118 miles), the new general-purpose freighter droneis capable of flying around 500 kilograms (1,102 lbs) of cargo goods. In order to accelerate the freight loading process, the UAV is equipped with a specific tail, which folds to ease access to the cargo compartment inside it.  

According to the Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), the TP500 is the first large-scale UAV developed in line with Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) regulations. 

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