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July 27, 2020

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1st amphibious aircraft tested off Qingdao

China’s homegrown large amphibious aircraft AG600 successfully completed its maiden flight over the sea yesterday in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, its developer has announced.

The aircraft took off from the sea off Qingdao at 10:18am and completed the test flight after flying for about 31 minutes, said state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The successful flight yesterday from the sea is a major breakthrough for the aircraft following its maiden flight over land in 2017 and first takeoff from a water reservoir in 2018, said AVIC.

Codenamed Kunlong, AG600 is the world’s largest amphibious plane, and the first large specialist civil aircraft independently developed by China to meet the needs of emergency rescue and natural disaster prevention and control efforts.

It is capable of carrying out multiple amphibious missions, such as fighting forest fires, conducting water rescues and monitoring the marine environment.

The 37-meter-long plane is around the size of a Boeing 737 and has a wingspan of 38.8 meters. It has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons and a maximum flight range of 4,500 kilometers, according to AVIC.


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