China's Self-devoloped amphibious plane
China has begun assembling its self-developed amphibious aircraft—one that might be the world's largest.
Work on the aircraft began last month and is being undertaken by Chinese manufacturer Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company, in the southern city of Zhuhai.
Workers are still busying with the fuselage of the amphibious aircraft-AG600. The manufacturer’s vice president, Hu Zhian, said it will take another four months to finish the whole assembly. This aircraft will play a key role in forest fire control and maritime search and rescue.
Workers are still busying with the fuselage of the amphibious aircraft-AG600. The manufacturer’s Vice President Hu Zhian said it will take another 4 months to finish the whole assembly. This aircraft will play a key role in forest fire control and maritime search and rescue.
"To extinguish forest fires, it can take on 12 metric tons of water from a lake or sea within 20 seconds to pour on the fire. The aircraft can carry 50 people on a maritime search and rescue mission. It will have an operational range of above 4,000 kilometers," Hu said.
Powered by four turboprop engines, it will be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, as far as its maximum takeoff weight and flight range are concerned.
"This amphibious plane is one of the three big plane projects approved by the State Council. It is a key facility of national rescue mission projects. It’s multi-functional. The making of this plane also fills a gap in China's general aviation industry," Hu said.
The aircraft maker has already received 17 domestic orders. Many global buyers have also shown their interests.
The entire aircraft is likely to be ready by the end of 2015 and will undertake its first maiden flight by the first half of 2016.
Because of its overall advantages, the company is confident that the aircraft will take a big share in the global market in the years to come.