Aircraft and equipment for the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2022 have been arriving in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, South China, where the expo will be held next week. The observers eagerly anticipate the exhibition of China’s drone and anti-drone systems at a time when the importance of the two is highlighted in the Ukraine crisis.
According to China Central Television (CCTV), two J-16 heavy fighter jets landed in Zhuhai on Sunday in preparation for the upcoming air show. In addition, other aircraft, such as the JL-10 advanced trainer jet, the Y-20 large transport plane, and the Red Falcon Aerobatic Team, have also arrived at the site, according to CCTV.
However, a new mysterious Chinese drone has also appeared at Zhuhai International Airport. There are hints that this could be a new unmanned combat air vehicle, or UCAV, designed to collaborate closely with J-20 stealth fighters and perhaps other aircraft types.
Social media is currently flooded with images and videos of the stealthy drone with a mysterious appearance. Unfortunately, the available pictures show only a small portion of the drone.
The unmanned aircraft, according to sources, is designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CIAG). The Wing Loong-10 drone, also known as the Cloud Shadow, appears to have been displayed next to it. According to some online posts, the new drone might be a Chengfei-style CIAG “loyal wingman” design.
The drone resembles a tailless flying-wing structure. However, it is unknown how exactly its wing design is laid out. It has a single jet engine, as seen in the images, with an upper air intake and circular exhaust. It’s important to note that this aircraft wasn’t made with high-end low-observability, especially keeping in view the backside.
There are no different components on the drone that could give more information about the payloads it might be able to carry or its overall purpose. However, an open area on the left side of the central fuselage may be a payload bay of some sort.
Furthermore, several indicators suggest that the drone is a prototype rather than a full-scale model. Irrespective, it’s exciting that this unmanned aircraft has appeared in Zhuhai just two weeks after a video of a new stealthy-looking Chinese flying-wing-type drone in flight surfaced on social media.
Possible explanations for what was seen in the video include the Star Shadow from Star Systems, the AVIC CS-550T from the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) CH-7 from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
Unfortunately, the video was low-resolution, but it did not appear to show a CH-7. It might be a hobbyist-built radio-controlled model or a subscale testing thing.