China has successfully built from scratch to finish, the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the AG600, and it just took off from the southern coast of the country on a test flight.
Recently, China has been embarking on an intensive industrialization drive. This is not unrelated to disputes in the Southern China sea territories, its uneasy relationship with the United States, and of course, the Nuclear Missile Brandishing Kim Jong Un regime up in North Korea. There are truly a lot of things that China needs to defend its interests from.
The AG600 lifted off from the Zhuhai airport in the southern province of Guangdong, which sits on the South China Sea coast. Renowned Chinese State Broadcaster, Xinhua News Agency said the aircraft was the “protector spirit of the sea, islands and reefs”. The aircraft was designed by the State-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China, which had spent almost eight years developing the aircraft.
The AG600 is roughly the size of a Boeing 737 and is designed to carry out marine rescues and battle forest fires. On the technical aspect, the aircraft is powered by four turboprop engines, it can also carry 50 people during maritime search-and-rescue missions, and can scoop up 12 metric tons of water within 20 seconds for fire fighting trips. It also has a maximum flight range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles) and a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes.
The plane can operate from traditional airports and also land and take-off from the sea. Apparently things are going fine as the aircraft has received 17 orders so far from different Chinese government departments and Chinese companies.
China is growing rapidly. Both military and economically, and they have certainly grabbed the world's attention.