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China Receives Donation of Pilotless Plane for Disaster Relief

The National Disaster Reduction Center (NDRC) of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs received a donation of a pilotless plane on Monday, which will help with emergency appraisal and disaster monitoring.

The plane, "Huaying," worth 1.2 million yuan (US$175,021), was donated by Zhongbing Opto-electrical Technology Company.

The 2.1-meter-long plane weighs 20 kg and has a wing span of 2.6 meters. It can fly to an altitude of 3,500 meters at the speed of 110 km an hour.

As the most advanced type of plane made in China, it can provide reconnaissance over a large area and stay in the air for three hours to shoot video of an accident spot in spite of unfavorable weather such as rain, mist, strong wind and gale.

It can also collect data and transmit reliable video images.

The plane will work with the NDRC's remote-sensing platform to help facilitate the evaluation and relief work in disaster-hit sites.

Planes have played a significant role in the disaster relief work in southwestern Sichuan Province that was hit by a magnitude-8.0 earthquake on May 12. China sent about 100 helicopters to the quake-hit zone which successfully rescued more than 15,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2008)

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