China-made world biggest amphibious aircraft finishes 1st glide test

SOURCE:China Central Television (CCTV) – AG600 large amphibious aircraft built by China itself on Saturday successfully conducted its first glide test in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai as it prepares for its maiden flight.

Other tests and check-ups are under way, according to the China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd.

Designed to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, the 37-meter-long AG600, with a wingspan of 38.8 meters, has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes. It can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds, and transport up to 370 tonnes of water on a single tank of fuel.

With excellent maneuverability and a relatively wide search range, the AG600 will be mainly used for maritime rescue, forest fire fighting, marine environment monitoring and protection.

“Compared with the current equipment used for rescue operations, such as ships and helicopters, it has its unique advantages. During rescues in coastal waters or remote areas, the aircraft is faster and can fly a longer distance. The helicopter has shorter flying distance, for its flight radius is within 500 kilometers,” said Qu Jingwen, chairman of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd and also on-site commander-in-chief of AG600 project.

Aviation Industry Corp. of China said in March that AG600 will embark on its maiden flight over land in late May and on water in the second half of 2017.

The aircraft developer has received orders for 17 AG600s.