Warplanes: The Mysterious Chinese Predator Clone



June 7, 2012:  For the last four years a Chinese aircraft manufacturer (AVIC) has been showing off photos and videos of a prototype for a clone of the American MQ-1 Predator UAV, called the Wing Loong (that's Chinese for Pterodactyl, a Jurassic period flying dinosaur). For the first time one has actually been seen in flight, over the capital of Uzbekistan. This may be the first export customer.

While Wing Loong is similar in shape to the larger American MQ-9 Reaper, in size it's almost identical to the 1.2 ton Predator. Wing Loong weighs 1.1 tons, has a 14 meter (46 feet) wingspan, and is 9 meters (28 feet) long. It has max altitude of 5,300 meters (16,400 feet) and an endurance of over 20 hours. Promotional pictures of the Wing Loong show it carrying two unidentified missiles. Not much more is known of this Predator clone.


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