China's AG600 amphibious aircraft begins firefighting capability test
China's domestically developed amphibious aircraft AG600 successfully conducted its first test flight for its fire extinguishing system in Jingmen, central China's Hubei Province, its developer announced Thursday.
The aircraft performed well during the test of its water-dropping capabilities at Zhanghe Airport of the city, which is one of its key functions, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
Thursday's flight test will provide a basis for the improvement of its firefighting capacities, and better serve the country's demand for enhanced natural disaster prevention and emergency rescue capabilities.
The AG600, together with the Y-20 strategic transport aircraft and the C919 single-aisle passenger airplane, is part of China's key project to independently develop a "large aircraft family."
Codenamed Kunlong, the AG600 is a key piece of aeronautical equipment in China's emergency rescue system. It is designed to meet the needs of firefighting and marine rescue missions, as well as other critical emergency rescue operations.
The large amphibious aircraft is designed to operate in complex weather and environmental conditions. During rescue missions, it can conduct low-altitude water surface searches and act as an anchor during maritime rescue missions. The aircraft is capable of rescuing up to 50 people per mission.
The AG600 successfully completed its maiden flight from the land in 2017, its first takeoff from a water reservoir in 2018, and its maiden flight over sea in 2020.