State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)’s general aviation division China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) is working with China Everbright Bank subsidiary Everbright Financial Leasing to push forth the development of the AG600 “Kunlong” amphibious aircraft program.

AVIC-owned news agency CAN News says CAIGA and Everbright have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to further the research, production and operations of the AG600 aircraft.

Both sides will seek to expedite the program’s licensing process and this agreement will serve as the foundation as parties work towards a new financial plan pertaining to the purchase of the first batch of aircraft, the report adds.

The report says this is an important milestone towards the commercialization of the AG600 and gaining market recognition for the aircraft, in terms of its capabilities in the field of emergency rescue and disaster response.

CAIGA and Everbright have established working groups to further develop the program and its related supply chains, innovate the business model and progress towards the integration of industry and finance, it adds.

CAIGA’s website says the AG600 is a large-scale special-purpose civil aircraft developed by China to meet the urgent needs of forest fire fighting and water rescue, key roles in China’s national emergency rescue system.

The program started in 2009 and the AG600 successfully had its maiden flight in 2017. The following year, it took off from a reservoir and in 2020 completed its first flight over sea.

CAIGA aims to have three new aircraft enter the final assembly phase and three aircraft complete maiden flights this year, AVIC tells China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua

Picture from shows the AG600.

*The word “Kunlong” comes from the chinese words “鲲龙”, “kun” here refers to a mythical big fish that can transform into a flying bird, whereas “long’ refers to a dragon.

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First Sea-based Test Flight for AVIC AG600 Seaplane (28 July 2020)