The AG600, the world's largest amphibian aircraft, has successfully passed engine tests and is expected to make its maiden flight in the first half of 2017, according to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Ltd. on Tuesday. The AG600 rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai last July, and has since undergone a series of rigorous tests.
Between Feb. 11 and 13, all four of its engines performed excellently in tests, according to the company.
The 37-meter-long AG600, with a wingspan of 38.8 meters, is by far the world's largest amphibian aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737. It is destined to support emergency response efforts.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes and can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds.
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, and over 90 percent of the products used on the plane were made in China.