China Daily | Low-altitude economy poised for takeoff


近日,《China Daily》发布专题深度报道,中国低空经济蓄势腾飞,联合飞机领航低空,工业级无人机在应急、农业、电力等行业大显身手,航空级无人机将成为下一个风口。

本文摘录自《China Daily》刊登的《Low-altitude economy poised for takeoff》一文。

In March, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and three other ministerial-level departments unveiled an ambitious plan to form a trillion-yuan-level market in general aviation equipment.
The plan to integrate general aviation equipment comprehensively into people's jobs and daily lives by 2030 will give a strong boost to the development of the low-altitude economy, including eVTOL aircraft, experts said.

The plan aims to capitalize on advancements in unmanned, electric and intelligent technologies to propel the commercial application of new-generation general aviation equipment in urban air transportation, logistics distribution and emergency rescue operations.
China is seeking to lead in the development of green and intelligent general aviation aircraft, positioning itself at the forefront of global innovation.
According to the plan, key initiatives include the establishment of joint laboratories, technology innovation centers and tech innovation service platforms in the general aviation sector. Additionally, efforts will be directed toward laying the groundwork for a robust regulatory and safety verification system, while demonstrating the tangible benefits of aviation emergency rescue and logistics distribution on a large scale.
By 2030, China aims to establish a new model for the development of the general aviation industry characterized by high-end, intelligent and green features. This model will support and ensure the safe and efficient operation of various networks, including passenger transportation, drone delivery and low-altitude production operations, thus fueling low-altitude economic growth and forming a trillion-yuan-level market scale.

Industry-level drones are finding applications in a wide range of fields, such as emergency rescue work, power line patrolling, farming, and surveillance and security operations, it added.

"A decade ago, the consumer drone industry boomed. Today, industrial drones are on the rise. In 10 years, the aviation-grade drone market will inevitably explode," said Tian Gangyin, founder, chairman and president of the Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle developer, United Aircraft.

The company debuted its Q100 agricultural drone at an exhibition in Shenzhen in May. It boasts a maximum spray load of 50 kilograms, and is capable of covering 400 mu (26.7 hectares) in an hour. It can effectively guard against pesticide corrosion, can be washed entirely, and offers greater efficiency and convenience. Its intelligent route planning and one-click autonomous operation make it a formidable asset in spraying pesticide, transportation, and aerial surveying, United Aircraft said.

The agility, efficiency, safety, and risk reduction features of drones have seen extensive application in emergency rescue and firefighting, Tian said.

The TD550 all-scenario emergency firefighting drone helicopter, showcased by United Aircraft, demonstrates large load capacity, long endurance, multifunctionality, high speed, and precise hovering in firefighting, material delivery, and emergency communication support.

The company has also developed the TD220 power-type drone, designed specifically for the power industry. With integrated advanced sensors and autonomous flight control systems, the drone can adapt to complex grid environments, performing efficient inspections and maintenance, significantly improving the management efficiency and safety of power facilities, United Aircraft said.

"To advance the low-altitude economy, infrastructure needs to come first," Tian said, adding that more efforts are needed to accelerate the construction of infrastructure, such as takeoff and landing facilities for drones in cities.