New Wing Loong 1E MALE UAV from China conducts its maiden flight

According to pictures published on Chinese social networks, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has conducted a maiden flight with its new Wing Loong-1E, which is an advanced version of the Wing Loong 1, a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed by the Chinese Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.
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The Wing Loong 1E has conducted its maiden flight on January 20, 2022, in an undisclosed area in China. (Picture source China Social Network)

Citing information provides by AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China), the Wing Loong 1E has new features offering new capabilities than the previous version in terms of range, endurance, efficiency and reliability.

The Wing Loong 1E was fully designed and developed in China by the drone subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The new drone has successfully completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, January 20, 2022.

According to our analysis, the design of the Wing Loong 1E seems very similar to the previous version, but the new drone is made using composite materials, according to AVIC information. It has been fully optimize and upgraded to offer new performances. But to date, AVIC has not released technical information on the new Wing Loong 1E.

The Wing Loong 1E design consists of a long fuselage with mid-mounted wings. Its fuselage structure is designed to minimize the radar cross section. It features two vertical tail fins, arranged in a V shape. The drone is fitted with a tri-cycle landing gear, with two main wheels under the fuselage and one single wheel under the nose. The drone is powered by a turbocharged engine, driving a three-bladed propeller, mounted at the rear of the fuselage.

The Wing Loong 1E has undergone some modifications in its design, the front has some change in its aerodynamic design and each wing has now upward-pointing winglets. The use of winglets are intended to improve the efficiency of fixed-wing aircraft by reducing drag.

As for the previous version, the Wing Loong 1E will be able to carry a wide range of weapon systems including laser-guided bombs and missiles to attack and destroy air or ground-based targets.

Using composite materials, we can assume that the new Wing Loong 1E is lighter than the previous version offering longer range and endurance as well as higher efficiency and reliability.

New Wing Long 1E MALE UAV from China conducts its maiden flight 925 002
Chinese-made Wing Loong 1 MALE UAV