China unveils World's largest amphibious aircraft AG600

China unveils World's largest amphibious aircraft AG600
A model of China's AG600, the world's largest amphibious aircraft, successfully conducted a hydrodynamic performance test, according to a China Central Television News (CCTV) report. 

The test was conducted "recently" in the high speed hydrodynamic key laboratory of the China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Ltd, the CCTV reported on Saturday, citing the company as saying.

The 37-meter-long AG600, which has a wingspan of 38.8 meters, has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons. It can collect 12 tons of water in 20 seconds, and transport up to 370 tons of water on a single tank of fuel, according to an April Xinhua News Agency article.

A 1:10 model of the AG600 was tested in both calm and rough water with different parameters at a variety of speeds, including how deep it went into the water and the pitch at which it was traveling.

The successful test paves the way for the full-sized vessel to take its maiden trip on water, the report said.

Wang Shuzhe, chief engineer of the AG600 project, revealed to CCTV that the designers had to come up with a large, complicated and retractable main gear for the large craft to allow it to take off and land on water as well as on the ground. 

More than 90 percent of the technology used in the aircraft is homegrown, marking a breakthrough in Chinese aviation.

With its "excellent" maneuverability and relatively wide search scope range, the AG600 will be mainly used for maritime rescue, firefighting, marine environment monitoring and ecological protection, Xinhua reported.