After eight long years of development, the world’s largest amphibious plane is finally ready and just took to the skies in China for its maiden flight. The AG600 is codenamed Kunlong and is spent a comfortable hour in the air at an altitude of 3,000 meters before touching back down at the Jinwan Civil Aviation Airport in Zhuhai.
The world’s largest amphibious plane is the size of a Boeing 737 and has a wingspan of 38.8 meters and its fuselage stretches almost 40 meters. The plane has been specially designed for a number of domestic operations in China, which include civil rescue, firefighting, maritime operations as well as to serve the purpose of military defense in the disputed South China Sea.
This is a landmark for Chinese aviation engineering as 98 % of all the plane’s components were produced inside the country. “It shows that the development of civil aviation industry in our country was lifted to a new level and that our capacity of independent research and development in this area has increased by a big margin,” says Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei.
Kunlong’s ability to take off from and to land on the water gives it an edge during maritime rescue operations. Even though it is still to make its maiden voyage from the water, Chinese engineers are confident that the plane can safely operate on seas with up to 2 meter high waves. The maiden water flight will take place somewhere within the next six months.
You can watch the maiden voyage of the world’s largest amphibious plane in the video below: