It was reported by the state-run news agency Xinhua, that China is about to deliver its domestically developed AG600, the world‘s largest amphibious aircraft, to customers by 2020. The aircraft was developed in an attempt to make the military more modern, in between the territorial disputes that took place in South China Sea.
According to the chief designer of the plane at the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Huang Lingcai: “We are endeavoring to get the airworthiness certification from the civil aviation authorities by 2021, and deliver it to the customers by 2022”.
He also stated about further plans: "After its successful maiden flight in December last year, we are planning a ferry flight from its research base in Zhuhai to Jingmen, central China's Hubei Province,". The AG600, codenamed Kunlong, is undergoing test flights in Zhuhai, a coastal city in south China's Guangdong Province. More flights are planned for 2018. The first take-off from water is also scheduled for later this year.China Is About To Deliver World’s Largest Amphibious Aircraft - AG600
AVIC dedicated about eight years for the development of the aircraft, which is approximately the size of the Boeing Co 737. It is capable of carrying up to 50 people per flight and it can also take up to 12 metric tons of water within 20 seconds. Designed to be the largest amphibious aircraft in the world, the main purposes of AG600 are putting down forest fires as well as executing marine search and rescue missions. The aircraft is also supposed to take off and land in two meter waves, as it has a range of up to 4,500 kilometers and is powered by four turboprop engines.
It was reported by the state media in December, that 17 orders were already placed for the aircraft by the Chinese government departments as well as several Chinese companies.