The world’s largest seaplane – Chinese amphibious aircraft AG600 — made its first test flight from the airport of Zhuhai, located in Guangdong province, according to the publication Popular Mechanics. With the size of the civilian airliner, AG600 able to fly and sit on solid surface and on water. The development, dubbed “Kunlong”, was conducted for seven years. The plane is multi-purpose and will be used to fight forest fires in Maritime rescue operations and patrolling of Chinese artificial Islands in the South China sea.
The first flight of AG600 was held without the participation of water. Instead, the machine rose into the sky for about an hour, then landed at the same airport used for takeoff. The development and Assembly of AG600 was engaged in the Chinese state aviation company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). On her account also includes the development of the Chinese military fighter, the J-10 and J-20 heavy transport aircraft Y-20 and attack helicopter Z-10, notes Popular Mechanics.
A wingspan of almost 37 meters and the maximum takeoff weight at 53.6 tons makes AG600 almost as big as civil Airliners Airbus 320 and Boeing 737. The aircraft has a hybrid design that allows it to carry out the takeoff and landing both on water and on land. The manufacturer claims the car is 100 percent Chinese parts, including its four turboprop engine WJ-6, designed in the Soviet Union in the 1950-ies.
Kunlong is able to raise the Board up to 50 passengers, which makes it very useful for the evacuation of vessels in emergencies or for transporting people from the mainland, is not equipped with runway infrastructure. As reported by Chinese news outlets, the seaplane if necessary able to for 20 seconds to make the fence 12 tons of water, which he can then use to extinguish fires in difficult terrain.
AG600 landing after a test flight
According to the publication Popular Mechanics, after a little modification AG600 can be used as a military Board, to perform all sorts of tasks like patrolling the coastal borders, and as protivomigrenoznogo of the aircraft. In addition, the aircraft can be used for transporting military personnel and cargo to remote bases. AG600 able to stay in the sky for up to 12 hours and has a range of up to 4,500 kilometers.
To date, the company received orders for 17 aircraft AG600. The order was received in 2016, and since then its volume has not changed. It is possible that after a successful test flight, the manufacturer can obtain foreign orders.