A U650 unmanned amphibious aircraft undergoes tests in Central China at the end of 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily] A Chinese company has produced the world's first unmanned, amphibious commercial aircraft, with plans to use it to deliver goods, transport supplies to islands and detect submarines, according to the manufacturer. Liu Jiandong, founder and chairman of UVS Intelligence System, a privately owned drone-maker in Shanghai, said mass production of its U650 seaplane has begun and will enter commercial operation this year with a Chinese express delivery company and a client in Southeast Asia. He declined to name the buyers, citing business confidentiality, but said both contracts had considerable value. We are working with the domestic client to apply for approval from air traffic management authorities of our plan to open a freight route next year using the amphibious drone, he said. The U650 was developed based on Spain's Colyaer Freedom S100 amphibious ultralight aircraft, whose intellectual property rights were wholly acquired by the Shanghai company, according to UVS. The amphibious drone carried out its maiden flight from waters in Central China in December 2015, the company said. The 5.85-meter-long unmanned seaplane, made of carbon fiber, is able to stay aloft 15 hours with a cruising speed of 180 kilometers per hour and a flight range of 2,000 km. It is capable of takeoffs and landings from short unpaved airstrips, grassland or water. The drone can carry up to 250 kilograms of cargo and its wings can also carry four payloads, such as inflatable life rafts. Liu said his company sees domestic and foreign couriers as the U650's primary users. It expects the model to be a commercial success because it is the only civilian drone in the global market that is capable of ferrying cargo with a total weight of 200 kg or even heavier. Express delivery enterprises along China's eastern and southern coastal regions will find the U650 useful, he said. Those areas are densely populated and have busy airline operations that lead to many restrictions when it comes to drone flights. Our aircraft can fly above, and land on, water. Its range is much longer than those of small types, so it doesn't need to make stops during a delivery mission. It will not risk the safety of people or airliners, Liu said. Almost all of China's large couriers, such as China Post and SF Express, have begun to invest in research and development on delivery drones. Analysts have said drones will play an increasingly important role in the country's skyrocketing online shopping industry. Globally, Amazon and DHL Express have deployed drones for delivery service on a small and experimental scale, and are continuing to design new models. In addition to couriers, U650 will also be able to benefit Chinese troops and residents on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, Liu said. It can be used to transport supplies to those islands and reefs many times a day at a low cost while ships and manned planes are subject to weather and expenditure considerations, he said. Meanwhile, the deployment of such drones will make it possible for those living there to have access to online shopping, which they are unable to do now because of the absence of delivery service. The U650 is capable of carrying out reconnaissance and strikes for the military thanks to its ability to carry radar, sonar or missiles. For instance, the drone can remain afloat at sea to tow sonar to detect submarines and move rapidly to other areas to continue the search, Liu said. jordan wristband rubber
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The counties that form the Xiongan New Area in Hebei province have shut down thousands of polluting companies since the move to create the area was announced in April. More than 7,200 companies that discharged heavy pollution were investigated and nearly 4,000 were closed, according to an announcement on the area's public WeChat account. About 100 people involved were arrested and detained for questioning about contaminating the environment. The severity of the punishment showed the determination of the area's leaders to tackle environmental problems, observers said. Officials in the Xiongan New Area, a zone established to advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, have been ordered to always put the environment first and to adhere to green development. When plans for the area were unveiled four months ago, one of the declared goals was to create a naturally scenic city with blue skies, fresh air and clean water. Located about 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, Xiongan spans Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei province. It also covers Baiyangdian Lake, a major wetland that covers 366 square kilo-meters and is believed to be a key in improving the area's overall environment. But Baoding, in the new area, usually is one of the 10 cities with the country's worst air quality. Also, Baiyangdian's ecology has been damaged by years of pollution from fish-raising and industrial discharges. To control the pollution, the three counties have taken a series of measures. Anxin, which covers most of the lake, is focusing on eliminating fish net cages, which pollute the water with fish feces and leftover bait and have been in use for years. The county also ordered all illegal gas stations to be closed and demolished. Rongcheng has barred villages near Baiyangdian from raising livestock, which would endanger the lake's water quality. All livestock farms must be closed by the end of October, the county's government said in a statement. The county also recently started a crackdown on factories - mainly garment factories, dyeing plants and paper mills - that illegally dispose of wastewater. Xiongxian will close all plastics factories, printing and platemaking plants, and any factory that discharges wastewater illegally.
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