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World’s largest amphibious aircraft passes ground tests in China (VIDEO)

World’s largest amphibious aircraft passes ground tests in China (VIDEO)
China has successfully tested its enormous amphibious aircraft known as the AG600. The massive airplane with a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons conducted a series of ground tests in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, according to local media.

In final preparations for its maiden flight, the plane, that is set to be the cornerstone of China’s emergency rescue efforts, conducted a successful “glide test” on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Designed and built in China by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the AG600 is reportedly set to be the largest amphibious aircraft in the world, roughly the size of a Boeing 737.

Other tests and check-ups are now under way before the plane makes its maiden flight and can be deployed to undertake ocean rescues and to combat forest fires.

READ MORE: China eyes maiden flight of world’s biggest amphibious plane after engine test

In March AVIC said that AG600 is scheduled for a maiden flight over land in late May and on water in the second half of 2017.

READ MORE: Is it a boat? Is it a plane? China builds one of world’s largest amphibious aircraft (VIDEOS)

The 37-meter-long AG600 with a wingspan of 38.8 meters, can take off and touch down on both land and water. The amphibious plane can store and drop 12 tons of water and make some 30 rounds without refueling, which makes it ideal to battling wildfires. With a capacity of up to 50 passengers, the AG600 can also be deployed in search and rescue operations over water.