China’s AG600 is the world’s largest amphibian aircraft and has passed its first engine tests. First flight is planned for later this year.
The engine test ran the four WJ-6 turboprops. Next comes a comprehensive ground test program which leading to first flight in first half of 2017, China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) reported. This organization is a subsidiary of state-owned AVIC.
The AG600 has been in development for seven years and is intended primarily for firefighting. The AVIC AG600 will likely also be used for maritime patrol and search and rescue. The AG600 search and rescue version will be able to seat 50. China’s growing South China Sea islands are likely to see many AG600s. The is nearly 123 feet long with a wingspan of 127 feet and can carry 12 tons of water, according to CAIGA. The AG600 is expected to have a range of 3,000NM. AVIC has received 17 “expressions of interest”.