China readies world's largest amphibious aircraft for take-off from water

Updated 2018-03-12 09:15:03

The world's largest amphibious aircraft will conduct its maiden flight from water in the second half of the year, its developer announced at the two sessions over the weekend.[Special coverage]

The AG600, an amphibious aircraft that can be used for rescue and fire-fighting, will launch from water by winter at the Zhanghe Reservoir in Jingmen, Central China's Hubei Province, local news agency jingmen.cjyun.org reported, citing Zhang Jinhua, senior designer of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Zhang advocated that an emergency rescue center, training base and warehouse for emergency rescue equipment also be set up in Jingmen.

Of the 50,000 parts used in the AG600, 98 percent were provided by domestic Chinese suppliers, Zhang said.

The AG600 project was approved in June 2009 and its assembly was finished in July 2016, according to the report.

The new aircraft will exhibit in November at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, the Global Times reporter learned.

All aircraft developed by China in the last two decades that are permitted to be seen in public will be exhibiting at Zhuhai.

With a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons and a top cruising speed of 500 kilometers per hour, the AG600 can stay aloft 12 hours, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

From Sanya city, South China's Hainan Province, the AG600 could reach any location in the South China Sea, the Global Times previously learned.

The AG600 is the third member of China's large aircraft family following the freighter Y-20 and passenger aircraft C919, which made maiden flights in 2013 and 2017.

The Y-20 entered service with China's air force in July 2016.

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