Aircraft development fuels emergency rescue missions

(China Daily) 10:31, February 05, 2023

An AG600M aircraft demonstrates its water-dropping function at the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province, on Nov 8, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's indigenously-developed aircraft continue to make progress to serve emergency rescue missions and help strengthen the country's emergency rescue capabilities.

China has developed a series of aircraft with air rescue capabilities, including amphibious airplanes, helicopters and large unmanned aerial vehicles, among others.

A vital piece of aeronautical equipment in China's emergency rescue system, the AG600 large amphibious aircraft, has recently entered the airworthiness flight-test phase, according to Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the country's leading plane-maker.

AG600M airplanes, the firefighting model of the AG600 aircraft family, have arrived at the flight-test center in Yanliang district in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

Code-named Kunlong, or "water dragon" in Chinese, the AG600 aircraft family is being developed to serve emergency rescue missions, such as forest firefighting, maritime search and rescue.

The aircraft will undergo a series of tests this year. It is expected that the firefighting model and emergency rescue model of AG600 aircraft will obtain certification in 2024 and 2025, respectively, the plane-maker said.

A vast country with complex landforms, China has been strengthening its capabilities in the air emergency rescue sector.

China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) has proposed the improvement of the national emergency management system by strengthening and improving air rescue system options and capabilities.

The Wing Loong large civil UAV family has tapped potential in the rescue and climate fields, by supporting telecommunications restoration for earthquake-hit regions and conducting cloud seeding operations over drought-affected areas.

The Z15, also known as the AC352, obtained certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China last July. It can adapt to various environments and missions, and can play diverse roles such as delivering essential supplies and transporting injured people.

More configurations within this series are expected to be designed for tasks such as firefighting and medical rescue, according to AVIC.

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Wu Chaolan)


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