A new stealth-capable transport drone presently under development, featuring a hybrid of conventional and flying wing design, was showcased by China at a recently held expo in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China.
The transport drone dubbed “FL-2” is still in its conceptual design stage. Design and development of the drone is undertaken by Zhong Tian Guide Control Technology Co Ltd, Xi'an-based Ordnance Industry Science Technology, reported late last week.
The long-range, multipurpose high-subsonic drone will have multiple cabins with load capacity of 6 tonnes. The aircraft has a flying wing aerodynamic design similar to the US' X-47B drone, but also has a pair of conventional V-shaped vertical tails. The drone has lower drag and spacious cabins owing to its flying wing design. The FL-2’s fuselage seems bulkier than other typical flying wing aircraft like the B-2 bomber, the report said.
Using two turbofan engines, the FL-2 has a liftoff weight of 22 tonnes, a flight ceiling of 15km, a cruise speed of 600-780 kmph a max speed of 900kmph, a range of 7,000km and an endurance of 10 hours.
In addition, China’s new Gongji-11 (GJ-11) stealth-capable combat drone with a flying wing design took part in its National Day parade earlier this month, indicating its induction into its armed forces.