Looking Chinese amphibious aircraft AG600, the world’s largest seaplane, made the first takeoff from the sea surface. As reported by the CGTN, testing took place on 26 July 2020 in the Yellow sea off the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province. During the tests, the aircraft completed the takeoff from the sea surface and landed on the ground the airport. A total of AG600 was held in the air for 31 minutes. The test was deemed successful.
Still test AG600 was conducted in relatively calm freshwater reservoir on the zhuanghe river in Hubei province. Experts check the tightness of the fuselage of the aircraft, the reliability of its onboard systems and engines, and take off from the surface of the water and landing on it. Tests at sea will allow developers to assess the impact of the aggressive marine environment on the airframe, its components and assemblies. In addition, developers will be able to evaluate the handling of the aircraft on takeoff and landing at different sea state.
Development AG600 is conducted from the second half of 2000-ies. Flight tests of the plane takes place in 2017, and test the water — from 2018. To finalize AG600 and begin delivery of the first production aircraft is planned in 2022. The developers have already received orders for 17 new seaplanes. AG600 length is 37 meters and the wingspan — 38.8 per meter. Maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 53.5 tons. The seaplane can fly to a distance of five thousand kilometers.
AG600 capable of carrying up to 50 people and fly at speeds of up to 570 kilometres per hour. The seaplane is able to stay aloft for up to 12 hours. In the version designed for fire fighting, Chinese new seaplane will be able to collect water at planing speeds of 0.6 ton per second. AG600 also planned to be used for the delivery of military on the island.
Before the largest seaplane was considered the Soviet A-40 “Albatross”. The plane had a length of 45.7 meters, and a wingspan of 42.5 meters. Maximum take-off weight of the seaplane was 90 tons. He could reach the speed of 800 kilometers per hour and to perform flights on distance up to five thousand kilometers. The project has built two aircraft; the program was closed in 2012. In September last year it was reportedthat then defense Ministry decided to resume the project of seaplane the A-40, however, at what stage the works are now unknown.