China's AG600 aircraft to attempt first water takeoff in second half of 2018
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China's AG600 amphibious aircraft will attempt its first takeoff from water in the city of Jingmen, Hubei Province, in the second half of this year, according to its developer, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Monday.
The AG600, code named "Kunlong," completed its maiden flight last December, and finished two test flights in January this year.
"During the recent two flights, the aircraft passed all the test subjects and its various systems functioned normally," said Zhou Guoqiang, AVIC's spokesman.
Designed to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the AG600 is powered by four domestically built turboprop engines and has a range of 12 hours.
It will be mainly used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires and marine monitoring.
Before its first flight from water, the aircraft will undergo a series of trials to test its watertightness and hydroplaning performance at low,medium and high speeds, Zhou said.
The AG600 is the third member of China's "large aircraft family" following the large freighter Y-20 and large passenger aircraft C919, which made maiden flights in 2013 and 2017, respectively.