Chinese Navy Tests Hybrid Fixed Wing UAV on Destroyer

A few months ago, photos of a hybrid drone with a particular appearance appeared on specialized networks. This had a fixed wing as well as tilting propellers, providing either a lift or propulsion function, as needed. The concept has obviously continued to evolve, as the state website Global Times published a snapshot showing the tests of this drone on the platform of a destroyer, of the Chinese Navy, in this case the Lanzhou, a 52C type destroyer that entered service in 2004.

This configuration, if it were to be made more reliable and to enter service, would allow the autonomy, range and speed of the drone to be very significantly increased in the face of a conventional "copter" drone, which presents many advantages. in matters of maritime surveillance, see anti-submarine warfare.

But the technology also presents many operational difficulties. On the one hand, the principle of tilting propellers is, by nature, more fragile than a fixed system. Above all, the fixed wing will cause significant aerodynamic constraints when the weather conditions are unfavorable, making landing particularly delicate.

Regardless, this is once again a demonstration of the dynamism of Chinese research, not hesitating to study technological solutions of uncertain status. To meditate in the face of the excitement faced with the risk-taking of Western innovation...

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