China’s AG600 – set to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft – has completed a successful maiden flight in its latest configuration, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Designed by AVIC and assembled by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), the AG600 is a fire-fighting and search and rescue aircraft.

Fire-fighting missions

The newly configured AG600 aircraft – named ‘Kunlong’ – is specifically designed for fire-fighting missions, with a larger water-dropping capacity and improved range.

Testing has shown that the AG600 can collect 12 tonnes of water in just 20 seconds and can operate as low as 50m. It can also anchor on water to conduct search and rescue tasks, which can evacuate up to 50 people at one time.

20-minute test flight

AVIC said the amphibious aircraft took off from the Zhuhai Jinwan Airport in southern China’s Guangdong Province before safely landing at the same airport 20 minutes later.

The four-engine aircraft has cantilevered high mounted wings and a nose-wheel tricycle retractable landing gear.

The aircraft also features a pressurised cabin, fly-by-wire flight control systems and an integrated avionics system.

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