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    China's large amphibious aircraft makes major progress

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    BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — China‘s independently developed AG600 large amphibious aircraft has made significant progress in conducting critical flight tests and securing the first batch of purchase contracts, the developer said Tuesday. .

    The AG600M aircraft, a full-configuration firefighting model belonging to the AG600 family of aircraft, successfully completed pivotal tests on Tuesday morning, including water pick-up and drop, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country’s main aircraft manufacturer.At 10:05 a.m., the AG600M aircraft carrying 12 tons of water took off from the ground runway of Zhanghe Airport in Jingmen, central China‘s Hubei province.It consecutively carried out the flight tests of aerial water drop, landing on a nearby tank and ground pick-up, take-off again and water drop on the predefined area, then successful landing at the tank at 10 h16, AVIC said.On the same day, AVIC General Huanan Aircraft Industry Co., Ltd., signed the first batch of purchase contracts for four AG600M aircraft with Everbright Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. , and signed an intent to purchase agreement on two AG600M aircraft with HNCA Aviation Equipment Leasing Co., Ltd., respectively.The successful completion of flight tests and the awarding of purchase contracts marked that the major mission capabilities of the AG600 amphibious aircraft have been verified and could open up the market, said He Shengqiang, deputy general manager of AVIC.These two major measures highlighted that aircraft equipment independently developed by China could support the country’s emergency rescue capabilities, He said. Codenamed Kunlong, or water dragon in Chinese, the AG600 is vital aviation equipment for China‘s rescue system. China emergency. It plays a role in wildland firefighting, maritime search and rescue, and other critical emergency rescue missions. The AG600M is specifically designed for wildland firefighting. Its maximum take-off weight is 60 tons, with a water carrying capacity of up to 12 tons and a flight range of up to 4,500 km. It can perform low-altitude flight at low speed, which allows it to drop water more accurately at fire sites. Subsequently, the AG600M will enter the airworthiness phase. Other variants of the AG600 family of aircraft are under development, the developer said. AVIC is committed to supporting the nation’s emergency rescue system and securing life and property of people by advancing the progress of aircraft and other vital aviation equipment.

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