The maiden test flight of China's largest solar-powered drone is complete.

Date: 2022-09-05
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According to official media, Morning Star 50 took off from a Shaanxi airport and arrived 26 minutes later.
According to its principal designer, it will function as a "pseudo-satellite" to conduct operations at heights more than 20 km.
According to official media, China's largest solar-powered drone has completed its first test flight safely in the northwest of the nation. According to the official Science and Technology Daily, Morning Star 50 took off from an airfield in Shaanxi province at 5:50 pm on Saturday and arrived after a flawless trip 26 minutes later.
The 50-meter (164-foot) wingspan of the twin-fuselage drone makes it suitable for a variety of tasks, including high-altitude surveillance, fire monitoring, and communications.
According to lead designer Zhu Shengli, it will function as a "pseudo-satellite" to conduct operations at heights exceeding 20 km (65,600 ft). It is totally powered by solar panels, which cover the majority of its wings.
The drone might stay in the air for months or perhaps years, according to Zhu from the government-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. The drone's other specifications were not disclosed.
Unmanned aerial vehicles like Morning Star 50 are significantly cheaper and more versatile to deploy and operate than satellites.
According to the paper, its advancement would bolster China's maritime and space defences and it may also be combined with important technology in industries like renewable energy, novel materials, and aeronautical engineering.
Similar drone technology is being developed in other nations as well. Before it crashed-landed in Arizona in August, the solar-powered Zephyr S drone had been in the air for 64 non-stop days. Airbus developed the 75 kilogramme (165 lb), 25 m-wide drone to assist The US military advances its high-altitude operating objectives.
In the stratosphere, a region of the Earth's atmosphere where bad weather can be avoided, drones like Morning Star 50 and Zephyr S soar. The drones can examine broad swaths of the ground from an altitude that is both high and near enough to transmit data in real time.
China tested a 20-metre-wide, 18.9-kg Morning Star drone in 2018 that was mostly powered by solar energy and built of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.
A trial flight of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation's most current Rainbow-4 unmanned combat aircraft was conducted last month. The drone's new heavy-fuel piston engine could be used for both military and non-military purposes.

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