It’s a ship… It’s a plane… It’s China’s first amphibious aircraft

CCTV News

China’s first domestically built amphibious plane to debut in 2016. China’s first domestically built amphibious plane to debut in 2016.

China’s first domestically developed amphibious aircraft, the AG600, is likely to make its debut in the first half of 2016.

“The assembly of the aircraft, AG600, is still ongoing and is expected to finish by the end of 2015. In the first half of 2016, the plane could make its debut,” Hu Zhian, Vice President of the Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company, which is in charge of the aircraft’s production, told CCTV.

CCTV’s Wu Lei reports:

Assembly of China's AG600 amphibious plane underway

Assembly of China's AG600 amphibious plane underway

China’s first domestically developed amphibious aircraft, the AG600, is likely to make its debut in the first half of 2016. “The assembly of the aircraft, AG600, is still ongoing and is expected to finish by the end of 2015. In the first half of 2016, the plane could make its debut,” Hu Zhian, Vice President of the Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company, which is in charge of the aircraft’s production, told CCTV. CCTV's Wu Lei reports.

The aircraft is being build in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai and is expected to play a key role in forest fire control and maritime search and rescue.

Work on the aircraft began last month by the Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company. It’s powered by four turboprop engines and will be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft in maximum takeoff weight and flight range.

“To extinguish forest fires, it can take on 12 metric tons of water from a lake or sea within 20 seconds to pour on the fire. The aircraft can carry 50 people on a maritime search and rescue mission. It will have an operational range of above 4,000 kilometers,” Hu added.

Once completed, the AG600, which is one of the three big plane projects approved by the State Council, is likely to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, in terms of the maximum takeoff weight and flight range.

Over the years, the global amphibious aircraft market has been dominated by Russia, France and Canada, and China is hoping that the AG600 will give it an edge in the market.

Hu says that they have already received 17 orders from domestic buyers and many foreign buyers have also shown interest in the aircraft.

Story by CCTV News