‘High Payload, Low Cost’ Cargo Drone Completes Maiden Flight Test in China

has successfully completed the maiden flight test of its homegrown commercial cargo drone, the HH-100, in the northwest part of the country. The HH-100, developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), reportedly took off on June 12 in Xi'an, the provincial capital of the Shaanxi province.

Efficient Air Logistics

The HH-100 is touted as an economical, high-capacity aircraft. According to its developer, it has a maximum take-off weight of 4,409 pounds (2,000 kilograms), a payload capacity of 1,543 pounds (700 kilograms), and a full-weight range of 323 miles (520 kilometers). It has a service ceiling of 5,000 meters and a maximum cruise speed of 186 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour). It is an aerial vehicle dedicated to carrying cargo, with a capacity of about 4 cubic meters.

“This aircraft adopts a universal and modular design, enabling a versatile platform, and we can hang different mission modules to fulfill logistics transportation tasks. In the future, the aircraft will facilitate an air highway enabling cargo flows in all directions,” said Chen Lei, chief designer of the civil UAV project at AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry Group Company.

AVIC views the drone primarily for branch-line logistics or short-range delivery. However, its potential applications could expand to include firefighting in forests and grasslands, delivering relief supplies, emergency communication relays, and weather modification.

Booming Drone Industry

Companies worldwide are investing in cargo drones as they have the potential to advance logistics. They provide swift, efficient, and eco-conscious goods transport solutions. Designed for heavy loads across extensive distances, they circumvent conventional transport challenges while lowering carbon footprints.

In the US, and pilot drone delivery services in specific regions, showcasing their potential in modern logistics.

In China, its civil drone sector reached 117.4 billion yuan (US$16.2 billion) last year, up 32 percent year over year, according to the industry and IT ministry's research arm, the China Centre for Information Sector Development, reports South China Morning Post.

DroneXL's Take

The successful maiden flight of the HH-100 marks a significant milestone in China's . As the sector continues to grow, we can expect to see more advanced and efficient cargo drones like the HH-100. With its high payload capacity and low cost, the HH-100 has the potential to revolutionize logistics and transportation. As the industry expands, we can expect to see more innovative applications of , further solidifying their role in modern logistics.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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