Zhuhai-made supersize amphibious aircraft completes maiden flight

Code-named Kunlong, the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 60 metric tons and can carry up to 12 tons of water.


AG600M conducts its maiden amphibious flight on Aug 29 [Photo courtesy Guanhai App]

September 1, 2022

BEIJING – The AG600M, a full-state and new-configuration firefighting variant of China’s first supersize amphibious aircraft AG600, conducted its maiden amphibious flight in Jinmen, Hubei Province on Aug 29.

Code-named Kunlong, the AG600M was independently developed by Zhuhai-headquartered Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It has a maximum take-off weight of 60 metric tons and can carry up to 12 tons of water, filling in the gap of domestic large-scale firefighting aircrafts.

The aircraft taxied into the water from Jinmen’s Zhanghe Airport, took off, and completed a series of test missions before landing on water at Zhanghe Reservoir after an 18-minute flight.

The first land flight of the amphibious aircraft was successfully conducted on May 31 in Zhuhai, with further design and sci-tech trial flights for optimization carried out after that. The aircraft had been in Hubei’s Jinmen and Yichang since July 16 for works like coating spraying.

The brand-new firefighting coating of AG600M made its debut during the amphibious flight, which sets white as its main color and uses red to create streamlined lines at its side, tail, as well as bottom areas. Yellow is used as transition between white and red.

Of note, red symbolizes the color of China’s firefighters’ helmets, while yellow comes from the five-pointed star of firefighters’ collar badges.

More sci-tech experiments, such as injecting and drawing water of the AG600M, are planned to ensure the large rescue plane is fully equipped and able to handle firefighting tasks. The aircraft is expected to obtain the rescue airworthiness certificate in 2025 and achieve small-batch delivery to customers during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

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