China: maiden flight of AR500C unmanned helicopter

China's first unmanned helicopter AR500C designed to be used for plateau regions has completed its maiden flight recently in the eastern province of Jiangxi, sources with the developer said, on May 21, 2020.

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China maiden flight of AR500C Unmanned Helicopter Chinese-made AR500C unmanned helicopter performs its maiden flight in an undisclosed area in China (Picture source Twitter account anshuman narang)

The maiden flight took place on May 20, 2020. After take-off and before landing, the plateau unmanned aerial vehicle flew for about 20 minutes, according to its developer, a helicopter research institute in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Developed based on unmanned helicopter AR500B, the AR500C has a maximum take-off weight of 500 kg, a take-off height of 5,000 meters, and a service ceiling of 6,700 meters. It can fly five hours on a single charge, with a maximum level flight speed of 170 kph and a cruising speed of 165 kph.

The AR500C will be used for reconnaissance and communication relays. It also has a wide range of applications in fields such as electronic interference, search support, security and fire control, forest fire prevention, maritime control, fire strikes, and material delivery.