After seven years of work, China has completed the world’s largest amphibious aircraft. The humongous yellow thing rolled off the production line last Saturday.
The AG600 is about the size of a Boeing 737, with a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes and a flight range of 4,500 kilometers. It can take off and land both on land and water, and is designed for emergencies, capable of collecting up to 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds and rescuing up to 50 people off shore, China Daily reports.
China Daily says the plane will also be “very useful in developing and exploiting marine resources, being adaptable to conduct marine environmental monitoring, resource detection and transportation.”
70 aircraft component manufacturers and 150 institutes across 20 provinces were involved in the research and production of this plane, after the project received government approval in 2009. The plane was assembled and unveiled at the Zhuhai base of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The AVIC said this plane will mainly target the domestic market, and 17 intent orders have been placed so far.
Probably best to not point out that the plane looks like a giant banana.
This seaplane is the latest milestone in China’s aviation development, following the maiden flight of China’s first homemade commercial jet last month.
No, not that kind of homemade. This kind:
By Victor Fung
[Images via Xinhua and Takungpao]