China's AVIC AG600 "Kunlong" — First Take-off and Landing on Water
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China's AVIC AG600 "Kunlong" — First Take-off and Landing on Water

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: AVIC AG600 Water-taxi trials, August 2018

Image Attribute: AVIC AG600 "Kunlong" Water-taxi trials, August 2018 

On October 20, 2018, Chinese AG600 amphibious aircraft Code-named "Kunlong" conducted its first waterborne take-off from the Zhanghe Reservoir in Jingmen, Hubei's province, at 8.51 am, and stayed airborne for about 15 minutes, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported. Earlier, it made its maiden flight at the coastal city at Zhuhai on December 24, 2017.

According to Xinhua, the aircraft developed and built by the state-owned aircraft giant Aviation Industry Corporation of China was piloted by four crew members.

According to AVIC deputy general manager Geng Ruguang, the 37-meter-long AG600 with a wingspan of 38.8 meters is by far the world's largest amphibian aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737.

The aircraft is powered by four WJ-6 turboprop engines (derivatives of the Ivchenko AI-20). It has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes, a maximum cruising speed of 500 km per hour, a maximum flight range of 4,500 km, and a maximum endurance of 12 hours.

Image Attribute: The file photo of AVIC AG600

Image Attribute: The file photo of AVIC AG600 "Kunlong"

In May 2018,  Xinhua news agency reported, the manufacturer expects to deliver AG600 to customers by 2022. "We are endeavoring to get the airworthiness certification from the civil aviation authorities by 2021 and deliver it to the customers by 2022," said by Huang Lingcai, the plane’s chief designer at that time.

With reporting by Xinhua News Agency