First fixed-wing aircraft for Antarctic research delivered to China

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China's first fixed-wing aircraft for Antarctic research has been delivered by a U.S. producer and will be deployed in the country's 32nd scientific expedition to Antarctica.

The red-and-white aircraft is printed with the logo of the State Oceanic Administration and "CHINARE", which represents the China national Antarctic and Arctic research expedition.

China purchased a Basler BT-67 from the United States, an aircraft used by other countries on the continent. It is capable of conducting missions for transportation, rescue and research, said Sun Bo, deputy director with the Polar Research Institute of China.

Approved by the administration, the aircraft was named "Snow Eagle 601". It will be outfitted with research equipment including an ice radar system, airborne gravimeter, airborne magnetometer, onboard laser radar system, etc., Sun said.

He said these devices will be used to explore the structure of ice sheet and Antarctic bedrock, and conduct other research such as geological mapping and environmental geological survey.

Kenn Borek Air, an Canadian airline, will be in charge of the fixed-wing aircraft's operational affairs. Meanwhile, China will speed up training Chinese pilots, ground crews and maintenance personnel, Sun said. Endi

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