Manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and following on from a successful run of ground evaluations, the AG600 is expected to take off from land for the first time this month. With a maximum take off weight of 53.5 tonnes, the amphibious plane is similar in size to a boeing 737.
It measures 36.9 metres in length and has a wingspan of 38.8 metres and AVIC have reportedly ordered 17 of them so far. Although marketed primarily as a firefighting aircraft for its ability to take off and land on water, it will also be used for military cargo, passenger transport and search and rescue operations. It will have the ability to carry up to 50 passengers and could also be used for a host of military operations including long-range patrols, anti-submarine warfare tasks, and mine-laying missions.
The land operation will take place before a flight on water during the later half of 2017.