The AG600, codenamed Kunlong, is designed to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft. It completed its maiden flight in December 2017.
At around 8:51 a.m., the plane took off from the surface of a reservoir near Zhanghe Airport of Jingmen under the command of captain Zhao Sheng and his crew. It landed smoothly and steadily on water after a 14-minute flight.
The AG600, a large-scale special-purpose civil aircraft designed to assist with forest firefighting and water rescues, is the third member of China's "large aircraft family" following the large freighter Y-20 and large passenger aircraft C919.
Stunning aerial view: China's amphibious aircraft AG600 takes to the skies from water pic.twitter.com/nqWtUZyJSX— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) October 20, 2018
Developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the aircraft is powered by four domestically designed turboprop engines and is roughly the size of a Boeing 737. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tonnes.
The aircraft is designed for both land and water takeoffs and landings. The lower part of the aircraft body is designed as a "V" structure to improve its anti-wave ability.
When used to help put out a forest fire, it is able to collect 12 tonnes of water at a time and make multiple trips to fetch water.
The aircraft can carry out sea rescue operations under complex meteorological conditions and can withstand two-meter-high waves. It is capable of carrying 50 people during a maritime search and rescue mission. It also provides support for China's marine monitoring and safety patrol.