China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company is planning to carry out the first flight of AG600 amphibious aircraft after final assembly later this year.
“As the largest amphibious airplane under development in the world and a piece of aviation equipment urgently needed in the Chinese emergency and rescue system, the AG600 has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tonnes, an overall length of 36.9m, and a wing span of 38.8m,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.
Its design concept, to provide an amphibious aircraft in different variant developed within a series, creates an aircraft with a boat-type amphibious airplane configuration, single hull fuselage, cantilevered high wing, T tail-wing, and tricycle landing gear. It will be equipped with four Chinese-made WJ-6 engines.
The first airframe is currently being constructed at a facility in Zhuhai in Guangdong province. Final assembly should be completed by the end of 2015 with a first flight tentatively scheduled for mid-2016, the diplomat news daily had reported in July last year.
“Since the first day of its development, the AG-600 has been designed for the global market. We are confident in its market prospects because the aircraft’s overall specifications, such as the maximum take-off weight and flight range, are better than other amphibious planes in the world,” Qu Jingwen, general manager of the China AVIC was quoted as saying by the news daily.
At the 10th Airshow China in Zhuhai, the AG600 obtained two option orders, bringing the current total to 17 option orders.
The AG600 can meet the demands of forest fire fighting, ocean monitoring, ocean rescue, and maritime enforcement.