China China on Saturday rolled out the worlds largest amphibious aircraft to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue missions, a media report said.
The AG600 rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai, in what aviation observers see as a milestone for China, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes, a maximum flight range of 4,500 km, and it can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds, according to state aircraft maker the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
Size of a Boeing 737
The AG600 is by far the worlds largest amphibian aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737, AVIC deputy general manager Geng Ruguang said.
An amphibious aircraft can take off and land on both land and water.
The unveiling of the AG600 came shortly after Chinese heavy transport aircraft the Y-20 officially entered military service on July 7 and Chinas first large passenger aircraft, the C919, rolled off the final assembly line in November 2015.
Mr. Geng described the AG600 as the latest breakthrough in Chinas aviation industry.
They toiled for it for nearly 7 years
It 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 development and production of the plane received government approval in 2009. PTI KJV UZM 07231659
Keywords: China, largest amphibious aircraft, AG600, marine rescue, forest fire operations