The People’s Liberation Army Air Force, commonly known as the Chinese Air Force, released a video on its Weibo social media account showing its WZ-7 jet-powered high-altitude, long-endurance, reconnaissance unmanned aircraft.
The footage includes clips showing the WZ-7 Xianglong drone, also known as “Soaring Dragon”, during a routine training flight.
The serial number 21071 is clearly visible on the fuselage of this WZ-7 drone.
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The large reconnaissance unmanned aircraft has been in Chiese Air Force service since at least 2019 and uses in tandem with electronic warfare and surveillance aircraft based on the Y-8.
According to open sources, the heavy Soaring Dragon drone is built of a large number of composite materials. The aircraft’s radar cross-sectional area is not large, presumably less than the typical fighter target, plus the use of composites.
Large by the standards of drones, the WZ-7’s joined wing allows for a more rigid, less flexible wing 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 requiret equipment to complete the command to send the missile mission.
PLA Air Force’s new WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone has been put into practical training pic.twitter.com/WxiLQMYNi2
— 彩云香江 (@louischeung_hk) November 10, 2021