On December 24, China’s first domestic large amphibious aircraft made a maiden flight in the province of Guangdong, according to the state-run website China Military.
The aircraft AG600, code named “Kunlong” took off from Jinwan airport in the city of Zhuhai. The flight lasted about an hour.
“The maiden flight makes China among the few countries capable of developing a large amphibious aircraft,” China Military quoted Huang Lingcai, chief designer of AG600.
The AG600 is a 39.6-meter long. It is powered by four domestically-built turboprop engines and has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes. The AG600’s top cruising speed is 500 kilometers per hour.
The AG600 is intended to be used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires and marine monitoring. The aircraft can carry 50 people during search-and-rescue missions and transport up to 370 tonnes of water on a single tank of fuel.
The AG600 is the third member of China’s “large aircraft family”. The previous two were the large freighter Y-20 and large passenger aircraft C919.