China’s MA60 firefighting aircraft, an independently-developed aeronautical vehicle tailored to serve emergency rescue missions, has entered a crucial stage of airworthiness compliance flight tests, according to the developer.
As a new member of the “Modern Ark” multipurpose aircraft family, the aircraft began its flight tests in late January to verify its compliance with the airworthiness regulations of the Chinese civil aviation authorities, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
It has already performed hedgehopping and low altitude water dropping tests, the AVIC added.
The tests have demonstrated that water dropped from the aircraft can cover a ground area measuring 200 meters in length and 30 meters in width.
MA60 is developed by AVIC XAC Commercial Aircraft Co., Ltd. in Xi’an, located in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, with independent intellectual property rights. The aircraft has been designed in strict adherence to the airworthiness regulations stipulated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The progress of the MA60 firefighting aircraft will support China in cultivating comprehensive aerial firefighting capability, which will further support the country in building a national comprehensive emergency rescue system, said Guo Zhiwu, a senior official with the Ministry of Emergency Management.
“The application of fixed-wing aircraft in fighting against fire in China is in the initial stage, with broad market prospects,” Guo said.
As a key model developed for China’s emergency air rescue system, the MA60 firefighting aircraft features remarkable maneuverability and capability to fly at low speeds in low altitudes. This enables precise and effective water release over fire sites in complex settings, enhancing the overall efficiency of firefighting operations.