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