China produces largest amphibious aircraft
China has rolled off the production line a massive amphibious aircraft that it plans to use to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue missions.
After nearly seven years of construction, the AG600 was unveiled in Zhuhai in southern Guangdong province on July 23.
Half boat and half airplane, the craft can take off at a weight of 53.5 metric tons and can pick up 12 tons of water in 20 seconds and transport up to 370 tons of water on a single tank of fuel.
The aircraft has a maximum cruising speed of 500 kilometers per hour (310 mph), a maximum flight range of 4,500 km, and a maximum endurance of 12 hours, according to state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corp of China.
The AG600 is by far the world’s largest amphibian aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737, according to Geng Ruguang, deputy general manager of AVIC.