China’s first self-developed amphibious aircraft AG600 has completed its maiden flight in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, marking a milestone in the country’s amphibious aircraft development.
Captain Zhao Sheng and three other crew members were aboard the plane.
The aircraft conducted scheduled tests, including a preliminary inspection of systems and basic control performance, during the 64-minute flight.
AG600 is the world’s largest amphibious plane and the first large specialist civil aircraft developed entirely in China. The 37-meter-long plane is around the size of a Boeing 737 and has a wingspan of 38.8 meters. It has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes and a maximum flight range of 4,500 kilometers, said its developer Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
It rolled off the production line on July 23, 2016 and passed the official technical quality assessment at the beginning of December, with a special flight permit issued on December 7.
The amphibious aircraft is expected to be used to control forest fires, and to conduct maritime search and rescue operations. It is a major aviation equipment for China’s construction of an emergency rescue system.
AG600 is an ideal extinguisher as it features fast speed, large coverage and high efficiency. It can carry as much as 12 tonnes of water, which it can release in 20 seconds, covering a fire area over 4,000 square meters in size.AG600 can carry out rescue operations under extreme meteorological conditions, and is capable of resisting two-meter-high waves.