China has unveiled the world’s largest amphibious plane.
The AG600 rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday.
The aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737, could not only fly like an ordinary plane.
It can also take off and land from stretches of water that are at least 1,500 meters long, 200 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep.
The aircraft will be used mainly for dealing with emergencies, such as forest fires and marine rescue missions.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE)HUANG LINGCAI, Chief designer of AG600
“With a maximum cruising speed of 500 km per hour and a maximum flight range of 4,500 km, the aircraft is capable of rescuing up to 50 people far offshore. Upon receiving the order, the aircraft can fly 1,000 km of water area in two or three hours. It can also directly land on the water to rescue people.”
The aircraft is the result of nearly seven years of work by a group of 70 aircraft component manufacturers and research teams with over 150 institutes from 20 provinces and municipalities in China.
The unveiling of the AG600 came shortly after Chinese heavy transport aircraft the Y-20 officially entered military service on July 7 and China’s first large passenger aircraft, the C919, rolled off the final assembly line last year.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE)SONG QINGGUO, Manager of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company
“The AG600 shows China has made progress in the technological field. The aircraft is mainly produced by domestic manufacturers and its high localization rate is attributed to the technological and material foundation laid by the manufacturing of Y-20 and C919. It is also attributed to the China’s industry’s fast development in recent years.”