China's new configuration AG600 large amphibious aircraft makes maiden flight

(Xinhua) 08:16, June 01, 2022

Photo taken on May 31, 2022 shows a full-state new-configuration model of China's AG600 large amphibious aircraft in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province. This new-configuration AG600 amphibious aircraft conducted a successful maiden flight on Tuesday, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). (Xinhua)

BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- A full-state new-configuration model of China's AG600 large amphibious aircraft conducted a successful maiden flight on Tuesday, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

This new-configuration AG600 amphibious aircraft took off from the Zhuhai Jinwan Airport in south China's Guangdong Province at 10:55 a.m., and then safely landed at the airport after a 20-minute flight, said the AVIC, the country's leading plane-maker.

During the maiden flight, it also conducted multiple flight test missions, including constant speed climbing, reducing speed in level flight and a simulated go-around.

AG600 aircraft remained in good condition throughout the flight, with the control system operating well and all systems working stably, said the developer.

The successful maiden flight of the full-state new-configuration model marked a new phase for the AG600 project and a major breakthrough in developing the firefighting functional model of the large amphibious aircraft, said the AVIC.

This new configuration AG600 aircraft is specially developed to serve firefighting missions, with a maximum take-off weight of 60 tonnes and maximum water-storage capacity of up to 12 tonnes. It fills China's need for a large firefighting aircraft, the AVIC added.

It is installed with a pressure cabin, fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated avionics system, and systems for its future firefighting missions.

Compared with the previous model of AG600, the new firefighting-configuration AG600 aircraft boasts higher performance, larger water-dropping capacity and longer range, said the developer.


The AG600, together with the Y-20 large transporter 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 developed by the AVIC to meet the needs of firefighting and marine rescue missions, as well as other critical emergency-rescue operations.

It is also the first Chinese homegrown large specialized aeroplane to be developed under the civil-aircraft airworthiness standards, said the AVIC.

The first AG600 successfully completed its maiden flight in 2017, its first take-off from a water reservoir in 2018, and its maiden flight over the sea in 2020.

The aircraft requires diverse testing areas and will need to meet strict requirements due to the complicated nature of its future missions.

It is capable of operating in complex weather and environmental conditions, with the capacity to rescue up to 50 people per mission.


The AG600 research and development team gained key-tech of amphibious aircraft during the AG600 tech-demonstrator's diverse maiden flights from the ground, water reservoir and the sea, as well as diverse key functional test flights, said the AVIC.

The AG600 will be capable of serving firefighting missions in 2023. Then, the firefighting type and emergency rescue type of AG600 aircraft are expected to receive certification and enter the market respectively in 2024 and 2025.

The AVIC will facilitate building of the Chinese homegrown air-emergency-rescue-product system with the AG600 project as the lead. It will accelerate the AG600's entry into the market, and boost construction of the emergency-rescue command center and demonstration operation base, said the AVIC. 


(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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