China’s new futuristic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is Straight Out Of “Star Wars” trilogy

Chinese engineers at Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAC), the company conglomerate which produce some of the most successful current and future fighters of the PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force), must be Star Wars fans.

Indeed, images that have appeared on several Chinese blogs and forums, seem to suggest that the CAC’s new UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), reportedly a variable wing model, was somehow inspired by the X-wings starfighters from the original Star Wars trilogy.

China X-Wing 2

Image credit: Chinese Internet via China Defense Mashup

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About David Cenciotti 4451 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.


  1. The more China pushes (militarily), the more frightened her neighbors become. Frightened, and of course reactive. Not a good idea where China’s regional neighbors are concerned. Especially Japan, who has a long history of militarism and embracing of the “warrior” ethos. In other words, as nostalgia exists in the West for things of the past, so too does the spirit of the Samurai, the Ashigaru, the Ninja, and the Kamikaze lurk in the souls of many Japanese. And they are a very capable nation … able to effectively manipulate technology to serve their economic, political and military will. As Henry Kissinger once observed:

    “It is inevitable that Japan will emerge as a major military power in the not-too-distant future.“

    So keep on going China. For every action, there is an equal an opposite reaction. Or in the case of geopolitics, perhaps an equal and opposite OVER-reaction. From neighbors like South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, and of course Japan. Indeed – a strong coalition led by the U.S. is now forming. China will be contained!

    • apart for Australia, tad bit far away, and India, the other countries are no match for China, even as a group. ROKAF and JSDF may be highly sophisticated, and Taiwan in a lesser measure, they remain too scattered, hardly re-supplyable, no doubt they’d put on a fair fight, but the sheer mass of China now added to it’s wealth makes it an unbeatable opponent.
      Australians aren’t enough to hold even their own soil should China decide to move over.
      what are they to do with around 20 transport planes and 100 jets?
      many have increased their defense budget lately, up to like 15%…China’s budget is growing exponentially.

      • Unbeatable? I don’t agree. Their oil imports from the Middle East are easily blocked through the Malacca Straights. And other strategic weaknesses exist due to their geographical location. Lots of debate to be had with what I just said of course. That I admit,

        The greatest obstacles to Chinese expansionism or bullying, as they are now engaged in over control of the S. China Sea, are Japan, the U.S., and India, The Abe administration is already building up Japan’s military capabilities. So too is India building up their military forces, and they, like China, are an emerging superpower (they already have continuing trouble on their border with China). &The U.S. has a large naval presence in the region. So will the Chinese become an “unbeatable opponent”? I don’t think so. I only hope that no one ever goes to war with them. In that scenario, everyone would lose!

        PS. Think the Japanese can’t build nukes very quickly to respond to Chinese aggression should it ever come? Think again! The region is wrought with age-old rivalries. The Chinese would be foolish to reignite disputes and mistrust in the area. Tension is not needed!

      • Australia has very capable air defences and a credible navy. Any country thinking about mounting a successful invasion can forget it. Too far – too much warning.

      • Sorry, but China lacks force projection. Their size might look good on paper, but they can’t even cross the Taiwan Straight let alone make it all the way to Australia. And even if they amassed a fleet to do it, we would see it, and bomb the hell out of it, as the US and Australia are allies. Even if they could make it to Australia’s shores, they couldnt resupply themselves.

    • Maybe you are not in touch with reality with contemporary geopolitics but Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand are China’s allies in comparison their relations to the US. With the exception of border disputes with India, Vietnam, Japan, and Philippines, China has 10 good friendly neighbours; Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, an Laos don’t want to join your pact of imperialists. Further Australia will never join an anti China pact as they heavily rely of China’s economy. Containment of China is wishful thinking at best.

  2. That’s howlingly hillarious. Is that packaging tape holding on the vertical stabilizers to the rear of the intake? OMG !! Sanded (and poorly) styrofoam, smoothed and aerodynamically unevan. Did these
    people help design that Iranian stealth fighter farce? Control cables on the outside at rhe rear?
    The vertical stabilizers aren’t even leaning outward at the same angle? Oh..this is just too funny. How
    can they be expected to be taken seriously? This is so spooky, it would simply not fly. I love the simu-
    lated refuelling doors painted on over the intake, and what are those yellow stripes? Are those supposed to be formation lights? LOL like you can see good enough from a UAV to fly formation..and who’d want to fly formation in drones? If this were even just a model R/C plane, it would not be stable
    enough to fly..embarassing, just like Iran’s joke of a stealth fighter…yawn

  3. Looks similar to the supersonic bi-directional flying wing concept that received a NASA grant last year.

  4. I think you will find that this one of the entrants to the AVIC cup student UAS flying competition, something akin to the student events that are run by the AUVSI Foundation et al. There is a fine tradition of web “analysts” mistaking Chinese student competition models for “real” concept proposals

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