Tengoen TB001 Scorpion / TW328
China's drone newcomer Tengoen Technology (aka Tengdun), founded in 2016, has ambitious plans to market armed drones for purchase. It also promises to build the world's biggest cargo drone.
The TB-001 Scorpion, Tengoen's flagship vehicle, is a twin-engine, double-tail drone. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 2.8 tons, a range of more than 3,700 miles, and provisions to carry two 220-pound bombs or missiles. Tengoen has also partnered with Chinese delivery company SF Express to build a souped-up TB-001 for cargo delivery, increasing the drone's size to 3.3 tons, with a 1.2-ton payload. In December 2017, the modified TB-011 showed off its capability by para-dropping supplies to a Huawei repair crew fixing a cell tower in the mountainous Yunnan Province.
The TB001 combat drone, also known as the "two-tailed scorpion," has previously appeared in the form of models and test flight photos. The aircraft is currently conducting test flights in southwestern China. Tengdeng Technology is actually a branch of the Chengdu 611 Research Institute in China. Its main products include several large UAV models including the TB001 combat drone. The company is also working with SF Express to study the possibility of large transport drones.
By March 2019, the TB001 combat drone has begun a test flight. The successful test marked a key milestone in the development of the aircraft, paving the way for mass production and delivery to customers. At the same time, the TB001 combat drone has appeared in public exhibitions many times, and carried a large number of missiles and bombs to demonstrate its military use.
This aircraft is characterized by a dual tail fuselage design. This design extends two tail support sections backwards on the wing, each connecting a vertical tail, and the tops of the two vertical tails are combined in the form of a flat tail. Form a structure with a tail brace, vertical tail and flat tail. This design also appeared on a variety of fighters such as the famous P-38 Lightning Fighter of World War II. In recent years, a variety of large long-duration UAVs have adopted similar structures, which have the advantages of high overall strength, light weight, and reduced height and design difficulties on the premise of ensuring tail control.
A turbocharged piston engine is arranged on the front structure of each tailstock of the TB001 combat drone. Each engine is equipped with a three-bladed propeller. Twin engines give this large drone more power while reducing the performance requirements of each engine. The aircraft is also equipped with retractable landing gear to reduce aerodynamic drag.
According to data released by the company, the TB001 combat drone has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 2,800 kg, a total wingspan of 20 meters, a length of 10 meters, and a height of 3.3 meters. This design can fly to a maximum practical mission altitude of 8000 meters and a maximum range of 6000 kilometers. With a payload of 1,000 kg, the battery life is 35 hours. Recently, SF Express cooperated with the company to use the improved TB-001 drone to drop cargo pods to maximize its excellent load carrying capacity and even increase the effective load to 1.2 tons. In December 2017, the modified TB-011 drone assisted Huawei in carrying out the task of repairing base stations in the mountainous Yunnan Province, and delivered the goods to locations that were difficult to reach from the ground.
In terms of cooperating with the ground command post, this highly automated controllable UAV can reach an effective communication range of 280 kilometers with the ground command post within line of sight. At the same time, the TB001 combat drone can also be equipped with a set of satellite communication data links, which extends the two-way communication distance radius to 3000 kilometers.
In terms of combat, the TB-001 combat drone can carry a large number of missiles and precision guided bombs. In the latest photos, the aircraft carried three different types of missiles and guided bombs during the test flight, a total of eight. If equipped with the latest small air-to-ground missiles developed for the Rainbow and Pterosaur series combat drones or sacrificing range, the aircraft can easily carry up to 24 guided weapons. At the same time, it can also carry single-shot heavier guided weapons, such as multiple 250 kg guided bombs, to attack more robust targets.
Even when carrying the same number and weight of weapons, the TB001 combat drone can perform a longer-term air combat mission than our current military drone, thereby further improving the strictness of monitoring and striking ground targets.
The aircraft can use missiles, including 20 kg class AR-2 air-to-ground missiles, this missile can use a variety of guidance methods. It is powerful enough to destroy targets such as light vehicles and ground armed personnel. The missile has a small weight and can be carried by a 4-pack mount, which enables the carrying point of an AR-1 missile to carry 4 AR-2 missiles in the past, which improves the firepower durability. In order to destroy heavy armored targets, strong fortifications, etc., 80 kg AR-4 air-to-ground missiles have also been put on the market. The AR-4 uses armor-breaking / killing warheads. It has a huge power range of up to 20 kilometers and can be launched from an altitude of 7000 meters, which is far superior to the American Hellfire air-to-ground missiles. And this flight height is higher than the effective intercept range of short-range ground-to-air missiles, improving the operational safety of UAVs. AR-4 can use infrared seeker, TV seeker or millimeter wave radar seeker.
In addition, TB001 can also use three advanced cruise missiles of the AR series missile family. For example, the AR-3 cruise missile weighs 100 kg and has a miniature turbojet engine. The cruising distance is more than 100 kilometers, and it can cruise for 30 minutes. The AR-3 cruise missile is particularly suitable for attacking closely guarded enemy fire control radars and alert radars. UAVs can be launched outside the enemy's defense zone. After the missile enters the enemy zone, it will automatically detect radar target signals, dive and maneuver.
A major problem on the plane is the low air density and difficult take-off and landing. Single tails of "Pterosaur" and "Rainbow" drones are not unable to take off and land, but the required runway is long, taking off and landing Reduced capacity is inevitable. However, if it is replaced by a twin-engine wing suspension, the airflow of the engine propeller will sweep over the wing and increase the airflow speed of the wing. This will increase the lift at low speed. If the flap is added, the take-off and landing capacity will be higher. Obviously, the twin-engine wing crane is more conducive to takeoff and landing on the plateau. In addition, the total power of the twin engines will inevitably be larger, and the boosting effect brought by the propeller airflow sweeping over the wings, so the flying speed of the "double-tailed scorpion" is 8,000 meters, which is more than the 5,000 meters of the Rainbow-5 can meet the needs of plateau operations.
While aircraft patrolling the ocean, although there is no low-altitude takeoff and landing problem faced by the plateau, on the ocean patrol, more power and higher flight altitude are still useful. The most typical one is that the area with severe atmospheric activity is 2,000-6,000 meters. The air flow in this area is variable. It is necessary to avoid this area during patrol operations. If it rises to 8,000 meters, the impact of adverse airflow will be reduced. In addition, higher power also means stronger resistance to complex airflow, so dual-engine is also a good choice.
Analysis points out that the overall layout of the "two-tailed scorpion" is not new, but it is indeed a drone that is more suitable for plateau and marine patrols. The aerodynamic layout of the drone allows head space for various detection equipment, while the wingspan can be used to mount weapons without interference from propellers.
On 16 January 2020, at a general airport in Southwest China, the world's first large-scale three-engine general-purpose multi-purpose multi-purpose research and development independently developed by Chengdu company Sichuan Tengdun Technology The first flight of the drone was successful. Throughout the process, the drone was in good condition and each system was working normally.
This large three-engine universal drone is a three-engine enhanced enhancement based on Tengdun Technology's original TB "two-tailed scorpion" drone, and its environmental adaptability and mission capabilities have been comprehensively improved. It is the world's first initiative of the three UAV launch bureaus, which can be widely used in rescue and disaster relief, forest fire prevention, geographic mapping, weather detection, aerial emergency communications, power line inspection, aviation logistics and other industries, as well as military fields.
This type of drone has excellent short-range take-off and landing performance, the full-load run distance does not exceed 500 meters, strong crosswind resistance, and can adapt to different types of navigation airports.
Developers claim the configuration of the three engines makes it "Superman" and "Hercules" in the same type of aircraft, and the maximum take-off weight has been increased from 2800kg of the original TB "Tailtail Scorpion" to 3200kg. Compared with TB-001, the new drone increased the payload from 1.2 to 1.5 tons, and increase the maximum practical ceiling from 8,000 meters to 9500. Meters, the take-off run distance is shortened to 500 meters, the maximum climb rate exceeds 10 meters per second, and it can stay in the air for a long time at an altitude of 9000 meters. The maximum flight endurance of the aircraft is 35 hours, which is consistent with TB-001.
After the performance of the new drone is further improved in various aspects, if it is used as a military drone, it should be possible to arrange 6 weapon racks under the outer wing section, mount 12 precision-guided air-to-surface missiles, and transform into an unmanned bomber. Another important significance of the aircraft's addition of a third engine is that it greatly improves the adaptability of UAV's plateau airport and will be able to deploy plateau airport operations. In addition, the power system has the ability to fly safely after two failures, has high safety and high reliability, and is particularly suitable for maritime flight tasks such as marine fishery management and marine ecological environment monitoring.
The aircraft has a high-altitude operation speed of more than 300km / h, and a long-term empty operation at a height of 9000m. It can meet the conditions of high-altitude airport use. Strong adaptability to the plateau; the power supply of the whole machine reaches 15kW, which can adapt to high-power electricity tasks, and the three-degree power supply of the main power supply makes it more reliable; the aircraft can also be equipped with anti-icing system to support the continuous operation of cumulonimbus; Adopting a low-cost, long-life piston engine, this machine has excellent life cycle economy.
Although Tengdun said that the main development purpose of the aircraft is for civilian use, which can be used for aerial photography, atmospheric research, pipeline inspection, cargo transportation, sports photography, etc., but with its large payload, the aircraft also has good military application prospects.
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