China's AG600 amphibious aircraft expected to enter market in 2025
China's indigenously-developed AG600 large amphibious aircraft is expected to enter the market in 2025, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
AG600M aircraft, a model specialized for firefighting belonging to the AG600 large amphibious aircraft family, will aim to obtain the type certificate in 2024, said the AVIC, the country's leading plane-maker.
The AVIC will endeavor to push forward the initial small-batch deliveries of AG600M firefighting aircraft in 2025, the AVIC added.
The Chinese planemaker will also facilitate another model of the AG600 aircraft family, especially for rescue missions, to obtain the type certificate in 2025.
The year 2023 is important for aircraft development, as a series of major test missions are scheduled to take place this year. The AVIC will strive to make the AG600M aircraft capable of serving firefighting missions, the Chinese planemaker said.
The AVIC is committed to making decisive efforts in fulfilling major targets of the AG600 project, making contributions to sustain China's emergency rescue and natural-disaster prevention systems.
A series of flight test and ground test missions are scheduled this year to ensure that the AG600M aircraft is capable of carrying out firefighting missions. These tests will be carried out to ensure progress toward securing the airworthiness certification, the AVIC said.
These tests include flight tests in typical mission scenarios, iron-bird tests, lab validation tests, static tests, airworthiness validation flight tests, and quality tests for airborne devices, among others.
Codenamed Kunlong, or "water dragon" in Chinese, the AG600 aircraft family is developed as vital aeronautical equipment to strengthen China's emergency rescue capabilities. It can be used in combating forest fires, maritime search and rescue, and other critical rescue missions.
A member of the AG600 aircraft family, the AG600M is specifically designed to combat forest fires. Its maximum take-off weight is 60 tons, with a capacity of carrying up to 12 tons of water. It can conduct low-altitude flying at low speed, enabling it to drop water accurately on fire sites.
The AG600 aircraft family made constant progress in 2022, in terms of both aircraft development and market exploration, according to the AVIC.