China's AG600 makes maiden flight
AVIC's four-engine AG600 amphibious aircraft completed a successful first flight on 24th December.
AVIC's AG600 amphibious aircraft completed its maiden flight at Zhuhai in the province of Guangdong on Christmas Eve. The aircraft was rolled out in July 2016.
The four-engine aircraft measures 37m in length and features a wingspan of 38.8m — comparable to, but slightly smaller than, the turbofan-powered Beriev A-40. Maximum takeoff weight is 53.5t. The turboprop engines are Chinese-modified versions of the Russian Ivchenko AI-20.
With a reported range of over 5,000km, the AG600 is designed for maritime search and rescue (SAR) missions, firefighting and marine monitoring operations. It will be capable of scooping 12t of water in 20 seconds for firefighting missions. On SAR missions, it can carry up to 50 passengers.
AVIC reports a total of 17 orders for the AG600, all from China.