The Guizhou Soar Dragon, (simplified Chinese: 翔龙; pinyin: xiáng lóng) is an unmanned aerial vehicle of the High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) type, featuring an unusual joined, tandem wingplan. As of 2011 it is being developed by the People’s Republic of China for reconnaissance and possible anti-shipping missions.
The Soar Dragon, designed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation and constructed by Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation for service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, was originally displayed as a model at the Zhuhai Air Show in 2006. Optimised for long-endurance missions at high altitude, the aircraft features an unusual tandem, joined wing platform. Except for the wing, the Soar Dragon is similar in appearance and mission to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk operated by the United States Air Force.
Large by the standards of UAVs, the Soar Dragon’s joined wing allows for a more rigid, less flexible wing planform than other configurations, with benefits said to include an increased lift-to-drag ratio and less complex flight controls than a HALE UAV with a conventional wing would require. The aircraft is powered by a Guizhou WP-13 turbojet engine, a developed copy of the Soviet Tumansky R-13; it is anticipated that a newer, improved engine, will be installed in production aircraft. The air intake for the engine is mounted atop the fuselage, with the engine itself mounted in the rear of the aircraft.
The Soar Dragon is not known to have yet conducted its maiden flight, however it is undergoing radar cross section and other electromagnetic tests in anticipation of flight testing.
In service with the PLAAF, the primary mission of the Soar Dragon is expected to be aerial reconnaissance, but it is anticipated that the aircraft will also be fitted with sensors suitable for designating naval vessels for targeting by anti-ship ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
Length: 14.33 m (47 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 24.86 m (81 ft 7 in)
Height: 5.41 m (17 ft 9 in)
Powerplant: 1 × Guizhou WP-13 turbojet, 43.1 kN (9,700 lbf) thrust
Cruise speed: 750 km/h; 466 mph (405 kn)
Range: 7,000 km (4,350 mi; 3,780 nmi)
Combat range: 2,000 km (1,243 mi; 1,080 nmi)
Endurance: 10 hours
Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,055 ft)
China (Listeni/ˈtʃaɪnə/; Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People’s Republic of China, is a sovereign state located in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. The PRC is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, with its seat of government in the capital city of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The PRC also claims Taiwan — which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity — as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War.
Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, China is the world’s second-largest country by land area, but only the third or fourth-largest by total area, dependent on whether the surface areas of various inland bodies of water such as the Great Lakes are included in the total area of a country.[g] China’s landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in the arid north to subtropical forests in the wetter south. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China’s coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long, and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) (simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军空军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍空軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Kōngjūn) is the aerial warfare service branch of the People’s Liberation Army, the military of the People’s Republic of China. The PLAAF was officially established on 11 November 1949. As of 2010, the PLAAF has a strength of around 330,000 personnel and is the largest air force in Asia. With ongoing modernisation, all older aircraft types in service are quickly being phased out and emphasis being placed on developing modern 4.5th generation fighters to replace them – along with 5th generation fighters in the near future. If current trends continue and the United