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Chinese fuel cell powered UAV first flight

News International-French

17 Sep 2012

China first full carbon fiber composite structure, hydrogen fuel cell powered unmanned test aircraft "Thunderbird" (LN60F) took off the ground in an airport in Shenyang.

"Thunderbird" (LN60F) aircraft is sponsored by the China Aviation Industry Group. It was independently developed by Liaoning General Aviation Academy headed by Yang Fengtian, Chinese Academician of Engineering.


Liaoning General Aviation Academy was jointly established by Shenyang Aerospace University, Dalian Institute of Chemical & Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang Aircraft Design & Research Institute of China aviation industry, the Aviation Industry Aerodynamics Research Institute.


The validation aircraft high efficiency aerodynamic configuration, all carbon fiber composite structural body, hydrogen fuel cell power system, electric propulsion system, flight control system, and ground conductor system are all completely independent research and development, manufacture, with independent intellectual property rights.


The unmanned test aircraft adopts a laminar flow airfoil, monoplane, T type tail aerodynamic layout. The body structure is made completely of the carbon fiber composite material. It has a hydrogen fuel cell power system as well.


The aircraft wingspan width is 10.5 meters, with a height of 2.2 meters and a length of 4.7 meters. It has a take-off weight of 257 kilograms with cruise speed of 120Km/h. The endurance is 4 hours.


"Thunderbird" (LN60F) take-off, cruise, and landing whole process are all automatically controlled. During the takeoff & climb phase, the aircraft is driven by fuel battery and lithium battery duel system. While during cruise and landing stage, it would be driven by fuel cell drive alone.


"Thunderbird" (LN60F) can be widely used in aerial photography, aerial survey, environmental monitoring, security patrols and other important areas. It has a obvious high social benefit and wide application prospect.



Original language Chinese