Military Wiki
Pterodactyl I
Manufacturer Chengdu
First flight 2009?
Status Export (2011)[1]
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force

The Chengdu Pterodactyl I (Chinese: 翼龙-1[2]) is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People's Republic of China. Intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance platform, the Pterodactyl I is capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons for use in an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) role.[1]

Design and development

Developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAC), a division of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC),[3][4] the Pterodactyl I bears a distinct similarity in appearance to the Predator/Reaper family of drones developed by the United States.[4][5] The drone is capable of being fitted with a variety of sensors, including a forward looking infrared turret and synthetic aperture radar.[3] In addition, the aircraft is capable of carrying weapons.[5] The Pterodactyl I's total payload capacity for sensors and weapons is 200 kilograms (440 lb).[3]

Operational history

According to Chengdu, the Pterodactyl I has been undergoing flight testing and has proven successful, with the flight test program including weapons tests of both bombs and air-to-surface missiles.[3]

A model of the Pterodactyl I was displayed at the 2010 China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition at Zhuhai, the first public acknowledgment of the program;[4][5] however, it was claimed by AVIC that the aircraft had been displayed at the 2008 airshow.[3] The aircraft has been approved for export by Chinese authorities; the Pterodactyl I was evaluated by Pakistan, but was not selected for procurement.[3]

One example of the type was known to have been lost in an accident during 2011.[6]


Data from ,[3][5]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None (UAV)
  • Length: 9.05 m (29 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 14 m (45 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 2.77 m (9 ft 1 in)
  • Gross weight: 1,100 kg (2,425 lb)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 280 km/h (174 mph; 151 kn)
  • Range: 4,000 km (2,485 mi; 2,160 nmi)
  • Endurance: 20 hours
  • Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,404 ft)


  • 100 kilograms (220 lb) of air-to-surface weapons
  • Avionics

    • 100 kilograms (220 lb) capacity for sensors

    See also


    1. 1.0 1.1 Wong, Edward. (2013, September 21). "Hacking U.S. Secrets, China Pushes for Drones," The New York Times, p.A1 ff.
    2. 19 November 2010, Pterodactyl-1 UAV allowed for export, Sina News (Chinese)
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Wall 2010
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Minnick 2010
    5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Zeitler 2011, p.25.
    6. Chinese Predator UAV look-alike crashes

    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).