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China's AG600 set for water trials
AG600. © DR

China's AG600 set for water trials

AVIC's AG600 amphibious aircraft is reported to have arrived in Jingmen for testing on the Zhanghe Reservoir.

AVIC's four-engine AG600 amphibious aircraft is reported to have completed trial ground flights in preparation for a new phase of testing on water.

According to local media, the AG600 completed a trial flight from an airport in the city of Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, to an airport in Jingmen, a city in central China's Hubei Province, close to the Zhanghe Reservoir, where the water trials will take place.

The aircraft — which was rolled out in July 2016 and made its first flight in December 2017 — 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 is designed to carry up to 50 passengers.

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