China’s drones and new aircraft on display at Zhuhai Airshow

The 18th Party Congress has a more muted presence on the front pages of China’s newspapers today because an event started today that can provide much better visual front page material: the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow. Instead of pictures of Hu Jintao and other men, today’s front pages are plastered with pictures of all kinds of helicopters, jets, large aircraft and drones. The Huaxi Metropolis Daily (华西都市报) from Sichuan province today has chosen to highlight one of China’s new drones that are being displayed at the airshow: the Wing Loong Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (翼龙无人机), and the newspaper boasts that this drone is “Made in Sichuan.”

If you look at the Wing Loong from the outside, Huaxi Metropolis Daily says, it looks “enormous”, and if you put it side-by-side with the US manned drone L-39, the Wing Loong is “not inferior in any way. And at 1 million US dollars apiece, its cheaper than the US and Israeli drones to boot.” Manufactured by the Chengdu Airplane Design Research Institute (成都飞机设计研究所), the Wing Loong can reach an altitude of 5,300 meters and a range of 4,000 km, and has an endurance of 20 hours. It will be used for a variety of roles including reconnaissance, surveillance, ground attacks, disaster monitoring, anti-narcotics smuggling, disaster monitoring, and meteorological observation.

The Wing Loong is only one of the many interesting pieces of hardware on display at this year Zhuhai Airshow, which include

  • Five types of advanced fighter jets
  • Six types of training aircraft
  • Eight types of drone aircraft
  • “Chinese-made” helicopters
  • Aerial acrobatics shows
  • A new Sichuan Airlines Airbus A-320 with special “China Dragon” markings
  • Special types of transport aircraft, and
  • 19 different types of weapons systems

So here’s a look at the various other fancy aircraft from the Zhuhai airshow on display on China’s front pages today:

Links and sources

Huaxi Metropolis Daily (华西都市报): “四川造”翼龙无人机首露真容
Huaxi Metropolis Daily (华西都市报): 飞行汽车 堵起了飞起来去上班
Chuncheng Evening News (春城晚报): 2012珠海航展今日开幕
City Express (城市快报): 2012空客A320珠海争艳(图)

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