China has conducted the first test flight of its new aircraft for polar explorations on the southern continent of Antarctica.
Scientists tested the flight characteristics of the fixed-wing aircraft — Snow Eagle 601 — under the climatic conditions of Antarctica. They also tested the performance of the aircraft’s ice radar, gravimeter and magnetometer.
Fixed-wing aircraft are designed for fast transport and emergency rescues. The Snow Eagle 601 is a US-made BT-67 model that can fly at temperatures as low as minus-50 degrees Celsius.
The aircraft is also used in polar explorations by other countries such as Germany, South Africa, Canada and the United States.