BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- China is facilitating the development of the homegrown AG600 large amphibious aircraft, a key member of the country's "large aircraft family," according to the developer Wednesday.
In 2022, the AG600 project has set a target to see three new aircraft enter the final assembly phase and three aircraft to take maiden flights, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country's leading plane-maker.
The AVIC is endeavoring to ensure the progress of the AG600 project, which is tailored to serve the country's demand in strengthening the emergency rescue system and natural disaster prevention and control system.
Codenamed Kunlong, the AG600 is a key piece of aeronautical equipment in China's emergency rescue system. Together with the Y-20 large transporter and the C919 single-aisle passenger airplane, it is also part of China's key project to independently develop a "large aircraft family."
As a model of special-purpose aircraft, the AG600 has been developed by the AVIC to meet the needs of firefighting and marine rescue missions, as well as other critical emergency rescue operations.
The AG600 is also among the world's largest under-developing large amphibious aircraft with high requirements and diverse test areas due to its complicated missions and working conditions, according to the AVIC.
It is designed to operate in complex weather and environmental conditions. During rescue missions, it can conduct low-altitude water surface searches and can act as an anchor during water and maritime rescue missions. The aircraft is capable of rescuing up to 50 people per mission.
The AG600 successfully completed its maiden flight in 2017, its first takeoff from a water reservoir in 2018, and its maiden flight over the sea in 2020.
The AVIC has completed the production of three AG600 aircraft prototypes. Among these, the first prototype is undergoing test flights and the second is in static testing.
At the Airshow China 2021, an AG600 aircraft performed an aerial water drop and displayed its firefighting capabilities to the public.
Last December, the third AG600 prototype rolled off the production line in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province. Made purposely for the test flight, it is now undergoing related ground tests for the mission, according to the AVIC.
The following aircraft production, airplane static test, ground test and other works are moving forward in an orderly manner in diverse branches of the AVIC across the country, said the Chinese plane-maker.