China has successfully completed sea-based test-flight of AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft

According to information published by the China Org website on July 30, 2020, China has completed successfully sea-based test-flight of its AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft from the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province, flying for a total of 1 hour and 21 minutes.
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China has successfully completed sea based test flight of AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft 925 001 Chinese-made AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft slides on the sea off Qingdao, east China's Shandong province, July 26, 2020. (Picture source Xinhua)

The development of the AG600 was approved by the central government in June 2009. More than 10,000 researchers and engineers from hundreds of domestic institutes, enterprises, and universities took part in the AG600 program. Construction of the first prototype began in March 2014 and was completed in July 2016.

The AG600 Kunlong is a Chinese-made amphibious aircraft designed by the companies AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) and CAIGA (China Aviation Industry General Aircraft). On 24 December 2017, it made its maiden flight from Zhuhai Jinwan Airport. In May 2018, AVIC planned to have the Civil Aviation Administration of China type certification completed by 2021 and deliveries starting in 2022.

The AG600 amphibious aircraft has a single body flying boat fuselage, cantilevered high wings, four WJ-6 turboprops, and tricycle retractable landing gear. It can operate from 1,500 by 200 m stretches of water 2.5 m deep and should be able to conduct Sea State 3 operations with 2 m waves. It was developed for aerial firefighting, collecting 12 tons of water in 20 seconds and transporting up to 370 tons of water on a single tank of fuel (31 rotations), and search and rescue, retrieving up to 50 people at sea.

With a length of 37 meters and a wingspan of 38.8 meters, the AG600 is the world's largest amphibious aircraft. Powered by four Chinese-made WJ-6 turboprop engines, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 metric tons. It can fly at a maximum speed of 500 km/h, with a flight endurance of 12 hours.