China Trials Four-Engine Drone

CHINA / SOCIETY
First four-engine large drone developed by China makes maiden flight, to debut in Airshow
By Liu Xuanzun and Fan Wei
Published: Oct 26, 2022 08:52 PM

The Twin-Tailed Scorpion D, a four-engine large drone independently developed by China, made its maiden flight in Zigong, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on October 25, 2022. The multi-purpose drone, the first of its kind, has enhanced transport capability compared with its predecessors. Photo: Courtesy of Sichuan Tengden Sci-Tech Innovation Co.
The Twin-Tailed Scorpion D, a four-engine large drone independently developed by China, made its maiden flight in Zigong, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on October 25, 2022. The multi-purpose drone, the first of its kind, has enhanced transport capability compared with its predecessors. Photo: Courtesy of Sichuan Tengden Sci-Tech Innovation Co.

The Twin-Tailed Scorpion D, a four-engine large drone independently developed by China, made its maiden flight on Tuesday and will make its public debut at the upcoming Airshow China 2022, the aircraft’s developer announced on Wednesday.

Capable of carrying heavier and larger payloads, the new drone has enhanced transport capability compared with its predecessors in the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series, analysts said.

Independently developed by Sichuan Tengden Sci-Tech Innovation Co, the Twin-Tailed Scorpion D successfully completed its first flight at an airport in Zigong, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday, according to a press release the company sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

This multipurpose, medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system with fixed wings and four engines is the first of its kind in the world, Tengden said.

The aircraft will make its public debut at the Airshow China 2022, which will be held in November in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province, according to the press release.

Developed based on the original Twin-Tailed Scorpion drone, the new aircraft can carry heavier and larger payloads, provide enhanced power support, and offer higher system reliability and flight safety thanks to the extra engines and power generators.

It is a new type of support aircraft capable of carrying more mission payloads with high performance in transport, airdrop and other tasks.

The drone has a wingspan of 20 meters, a length of 10.5 meters and a height of 3.1 meters. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 4.35 tons, a maximum payload weight of 1.5 tons and a maximum cargo space of 5 cubic meters, the company said.

According to a video obtained by the Global Times, the drone has two hatch doors on its chubby fuselage, through which cargos can be loaded.

This means the Twin-Tailed Scorpion D focuses more on transport capability, as it can host more cargos and other payloads within its fuselage very flexibly, in addition to carrying them under the wings like other Twin-Tailed Scorpion series drones, an aviation expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Other members of the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series include the original Twin-Tailed Scorpion (TB) with two engines and the Twin-Tailed Scorpion A (TB-A) with three engines.

The continued development of different drones in the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series has diversified the application of commercial large drones, and it showed that China’s large drone industry can quickly respond to market demand for new drones, Tengden said.