World’s Largest Amphibious Aircraft Almost Ready to Maiden Flight

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The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) successfully conducted a test of engines of new AG600 amphibious flying boat.

An AVIC official says the first flight is planned for the first half of 2017 (probably in March). This is two years after the originally-planned 2015, but there have been developmental delays with the aircraft.

The AG600 is reportedly the largest amphibious aircraft currently being built. CAIGA, which has started work on the prototype AG600, has announced that the aircraft will have a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 t (53,500 kg; 118,000 lb) and a maximum range of over 5,000 km (3,100 mi).

The aircraft have a wingspan of 38.8 metres (127 ft) and powered by four turboprop engines.

Commentaries in China note that the aircraft was specifically designed to defend China’s interests in the South China Sea area.

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