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Fly high: Chinese solar drone 'Rainbow' reaches near space

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-14 10:25

Photo taken on May 24, 2017 shows a solar drone on its test flight. China has successfully tested near-space flight of its largest solar drone. With a wingspan of 45 meters, the solar-powered drone is capable of flying at an altitude of 20 to 30 kilometers, and cruising at a speed of 150 to 200 km per hour for a long time. The unmanned aerial vehicle will be used mostly for airborne early warning, aerial reconnaissance, disaster monitoring, meteorological observation and communications relay. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - China's Caihong (CH), or Rainbow, solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the country's first near-space solar drone, has successfully conducted a flight at an altitude of 20 km.

The project team under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced Tuesday that the CH UAV, flew smoothly in near space for over 15 hours under control, finishing its scheduled path before landing securely.

FLY HIGHP The near space region, which lies 20 to 100 km above sea level, contains thin air that reduces the performance of traditional fuel-powered aircraft engines.

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