The disc-shaped craft is 1.2 meters in diameter and weighs 10 kilograms. Photo is taken on June 12, 2008. [Photo: Xinhua]
A private Chinese company said on Tuesday it has developed a prototype UFO-like aircraft capable of flying at an altitude of 1,000 meters at up to 80 kilometers per hour.
The disc-shaped craft is 1.2 meters in diameter and weighs 10 kilograms. It is unmanned and has only one propeller inside the disk. It can fly for up to 40 minutes.
The methanol-fuelled aircraft can take off and land vertically and hover in the air. It can be remote-controlled or sent on a flight path that can be preset and adjusted at any time.
Wang Zhongxin, board chairman of developer Harbin Smart Special Aerocraft Co., Ltd., said it took 12 years and 28 million yuan (about 4 million U.S. dollars) for researchers to develop the aircraft, which can be used in aerial photography, geological surveys and emergency illumination.
The company has begun small-scale trial production and received orders for 10 such aircraft, according to Wang.
The aircraft was jointly developed by Harbin Smart Special Aerocraft based in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the No. 4 research institute of China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp. and the Harbin Institute of Technology.