Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chinese large amphibious aircraft to fly in 2013



The first Chinese-made large amphibious aircraft is scheduled to take off in 2013, and ready for mass production in 2015, China Daily reported Tuesday.The amphibious aircraft, about the size of an Airbus 320, will handle emergency services and military tasks that are difficult or impossible with current aircraft in China today, the newspaper quoted a senior engineer of the manufacturer as saying.

Previously, China has developed large hydroplanes and small amphibious aircraft, said Chen Zhengguo, the project's chief engineer.But large amphibious aircraft will be more useful in putting out forest fires, carrying out long-range air-sea rescues, and taking on anti-submarine missions, according to the news release by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

The Chinese-made amphibious aircraft can take off on both land and water.As it flies at a height of 30 to 50 m over the treetops, the success rate of spreading water over a fire could reach 98 percent.According to the State Forestry Administration, at least 10,000wildfires occur in the country's forests each year.Engineers also aimed to develop the amphibious aircraft into one that can help rescue more people on the sea.

Equipped with turboprop engines, it has a maximum take-off weight of 49 tonnes, able to carry up to 50 people at one time. Its longest range is 5,150 km, and its highest speed is 560 kph. Emergency medical equipment will be available on board.Russia, Japan, Canada and the United States already have developed their own amphibious aircraft.

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