Firefighting seaplane undergoes first discharge test

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2022-09-27 13:58
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China's AG600M, a full-state, new-configuration amphibious firefighting aircraft, has successfully tested its ability to draw and drop 12-tons of water during a flight in Central China's Hubei province on Sept 27, 2022. [Photo by Yue Shuhua/for]

Operators of the AG600M, the fire-extinguishing variant of China's AG600 seaplane, tested the craft's capability of collecting and discharging its maximum load of water for the first time on Tuesday, according to Aviation Industry Corp of China.

The State-owned aircraft maker said in a news release that the amphibious plane was piloted by a four-member crew and took off from the Zhanghe Airport in Jingmen, Hubei province, at 10:05 am. It carried 12 metric tons of water, the maximum amount allowed for the model.

The seaplane flew to a designated airspace and then discharged the water in a mock fire-extinguishing operation before landing on the waters of the Zhanghe Reservoir.

It sailed quickly on the reservoir, collecting 12 tons of water in 15 seconds, and then took off from the water to return to the same airspace and repeated the discharge process.

The test was concluded at 10:16 am, when the aircraft landed again on the reservoir, according to the AVIC.

The company said the test verified that the plane is capable of putting out a blaze and was a big step forward in the development project.

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