26-12-2017 11:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
The world’s largest amphibious aircraft completes maiden flight
The world’s largest amphibious aircraft in production, the AG600 made by China successfully completed its maiden flight on Sunday. It took off from the southern city of Zhuhai and landed after a flight of roughly an hour.
The plane, codenamed Kunlong has a wingspan of 38.8 metres (127ft) and is powered by four turboprop engines. The aircraft can stay airborne for 12 hours and is capable of carrying 50 people.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the amphibious aircraft has military applications but will be used for firefighting and marine rescue. At least 17 orders have been placed so far with the state-owned manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China.
With the success of the AG600, China’s island-building projects in the South China Sea has got a boost. James Char, a military analyst at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University said that the aircraft’s 4,500km operational range and ability to land and take off from the water makes it well suited for deployment over China’s artificial islands.
China is rapidly modernizing its military and the launch of the new amphibious aircraft further strengthens it. China also launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, this year This complemented the Liaoning, a secondhand Soviet carrier commissioned in 2012 after extensive refits.