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Agenda
26.07.2016 13:25

China rolls out AG600 "Water Dragon" amphibian

China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company(CAIGA) rolled out the AG600, a new amphibian aircraft from a factory in Zhuhai, southern China, on 23 July.


China’s self-developed amphibious aircraft AG600 The ‘Jiaolong’ (Water Dragon), intended to be the world’s largest amphibian, with a maximum take-off weight of 53.5tonnes. It is also larger than both the ShinMaywa US-2 from Japan and the Beriev Be-200 from Russia.

 

China announced missions such as fighting forest fires, maritime search and rescue (SAR), monitoring of the marine environment, resource exploration and transportation for the AG600. With China’s clear interest in South East Sea, there is no doubt that the aircraft will be serving to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) that operates three Harbin SH-5 amphibian aircraft, which are in need of replacement since their introduction in 1986.

Huang Lingcai, the AG600’s chief designer, said the plane with a 4,500km range can fly a round trip between Sanya on Hainan Island and James Shoal without refuelling.

As well as being able to land and take off from regular runways, it can do the same on stretches of water at least 1,500m long, 200m wide and 2.5m deep. ‘The AG600 is like a ship that can fly, with advanced gas-water dynamic engineering and underwater corrosion resistance technology,’ said Huang.

 

The Chinese government approved the project in 2009. Assembly commenced officially in Zhuhai on 17 July 2015. The aircraft is somewhat behind schedule, as officials said last year that they expected its maiden flight in the first half of 2016.

AVIC expected to deliver 60 AG600 amphibious aircraft in 15 years.

In addition to taking off and landing like an ordinary plane, the AG600 can also take off and land from stretches of water that are at least 1,500 meters long, 200 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep. 

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