China’s AG600, also to be the world’s biggest amphibious aircraft, has made its maiden flight over Zhuhai in South China’s Guangdong Province, based on the reports by CGTN. The AG600 amphibious aircraft code-named Kunlong took off at 10:55 am from Zhuhai Jinwan Airport and proceeded to complete a series of test flight missions. Based on the reports, the aircraft flew for 20 minutes before landing on the ground.
The successful flight marks a new milestone for the AG600 project and a significant advance in enhancing the big amphibious aircraft’s firefighting functional model, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). It is to be noted that this new aircraft has been specifically designed to carry out China’s firefighting missions. The aircraft also carries the title of being the first Chinese made large specialised aircraft built to fulfil the airworthiness criteria under the civil-aircraft.
The new AG600 has a maximum water storage capacity of up to 12 tonnes and a maximum take-off weight of up to 60 tonnes. Moreover, a pressurised cabin, a fly-by-wire flight control system, an integrated avionics system, and equipment for future firefighting missions are all included in the aircraft.
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The aircraft can rescue up to 50 people in a single trip in difficult weather and environmental conditions. In addition, the aircraft is capable of landing and taking off from both water and land. The plane will be used to combat fires and will go into service in 2023. The AG600’s firefighting and rescue variants will be certified by the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Once the plane is finished, it will claim the title of being the world’s biggest amphibious aircraft beating Japan’s US-2 and Russia’s BE-200 in the competition.