Amphibious firefighting aircraft put through paces

China Daily
Chen Zhuo
2022-09-13 09:42:55

China's AG600M, a full-state, new-configuration amphibious firefighting aircraft, has a successful maiden amphibious flight on Aug 29, 2022. [Photo/Aviation Industry Corporation of China]

China will produce four prototypes of the AG600M aircraft, a firefighting variant belonging to the AG600 large amphibious aircraft family, to carry out test flights, its developer announced on Saturday.

The second AG600M firefighting aircraft prototype completed its first flight test mission on Saturday in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, according to Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the country's leading plane-maker.

During the 22-minute flight, the aircraft performed well, and all of its systems were operating stably, AVIC said.

The aircraft will next undergo follow-up test flights involving collecting and dropping water, which are key tasks for the amphibious firefighting variant.

It is expected that the third and fourth AG600M aircraft prototypes will undergo their first test flights respectively this November and in early 2023, AVIC said.

The first AG600M prototype made its maiden flight taking off from land on May 31, and its maiden flight from water on Aug 30.

The AG600M aircraft is expected to carry out firefighting missions from 2023 and enter the market in 2025, according to AVIC.

Code-named Kunlong, the AG600 large amphibious aircraft family is seen as key aeronautical equipment for China's emergency-rescue system. It was developed by AVIC to meet the needs of firefighting and marine rescue missions, as well as other critical emergency-rescue operations.

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