China’s largest AG600 amphibian is about to test its first takeoff at sea.

AG600 seaplane during takeoff and landing on the lake
AG600 seaplane during takeoff and landing on the lake

Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced that the Kunlong amphibious aircraft (AG600) will be testing its first takeoff on the ocean this year, according to Xinhua News Agency on May 25, 2020.

Accordingly, the world’s largest amphibian will take off at the Qingdao city (Shandong Province), marking a major step forward for the project. AVIC said the project was launched to meet China’s needs for emergency rescue and disaster prevention.

AG600 is a utility amphibious flying boat designed with high speed (maximum 560 km/h). It will perform in missions such as forest fire fighting and maritime rescue. In rescue missions, the AG600 can search long-range with high safety and rescue capacity of up to 50 people at a time.

The aircraft first took off in December 2017 and completed its takeoff and landing on the lake in October 2018. After that, the aircraft had many other test flights to prepare for the first takeoff on the sea this year.

About the same size as a Boeing 737, AG600 is larger than any flying boat capable of taking off and landing at sea. The aircraft is equipped with 4 turboprops engine, can fly for 12 hours. By design, the aircraft has a range of 4,500 km, can take off and land in conditions of waves as high as 2m.

After the first test flight in 2017, AFP quoted observers as warning that the amphibian can also be used on a large scale, including all artificial islands China has built in the South China Sea.

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