BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- China will produce a total of four prototypes of the AG600M aircraft, a full-configuration firefighting model belonging to the AG600 large amphibious aircraft family, to carry out flight test missions, its developer announced on Saturday.
The second AG600M firefighting aircraft prototype completed its first flight test mission on Saturday in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country's leading plane-maker.
During the 22-minute flight, the aircraft performed well, and all of its systems were operating stably, AVIC said.
The aircraft will next undergo follow-up flight tests such as gathering and dropping water, which are key tasks for this amphibious firefighting aircraft.
It is expected that the third and fourth AG600M aircraft prototypes will respectively undergo their first flight tests this November and early in 2023, AVIC said.
The first AG600M prototype made its maiden flight from the ground on May 31, and its maiden flight from water on Aug. 30.
The AG600M aircraft is expected to serve firefighting missions from 2023 and enter the market in 2025, according to AVIC.
Codenamed Kunlong, the AG600 large amphibious aircraft family is seen as key aeronautical equipment for China's emergency-rescue system. It was developed by AVIC to meet the needs of firefighting and marine-rescue missions, as well as other critical emergency-rescue operations. ■