China develops ducted fan drone
BEIJING, April 24 — China has developed its first civilian unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, with a ducted fan system.
The drone, which looks like a rice cooker, made its debut and soon become one of the stars at the 19th Hobby Expo China held in Beijing from April 20 to 22.
Developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Co., Ltd. (CASIC), the drone weights just 280 grams and is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand.
He Yu, an engineer at CASIC, said the ducted fan system enables the drone to take off vertically and land in a narrow space.
Developers also located the drone’s rotor inside the duct, which can prevent the rotor being damaged during flight.
The power efficiency of the drone is about 30 percent higher than common drones with four or six axes, as its power system is similar to a carrier rocket, said Zhao Tianlong, a member of the research team.
The ducted fan drone has potential applications in search and rescue, reconnaissance in complex environments, indoor security, pipeline inspection, scientific research, and flight performance, said He.