The developers are promising Chinese of amphibious aircraft AG600, the largest seaplane in the world, began to prepare him for tests at sea. As reports Defense Aerospace, a new phase of flight tests will be conducted on the South China sea.
Currently, the test aircraft AG600 held in the province of Hubei in the reservoir on the river Zhuanghe. It is a freshwater reservoir. Tests at sea will 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.
In the Chinese Corporation AVIC engaged in the development of the aircraft, say the creation of AG600 and testing are on schedule despite the fact that all work was completely stopped during the quarantine in China. The quarantine was imposed because of the epidemic of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Development of amphibious aircraft 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.
Length Chinese amphibian 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.
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 the fall of 2019 , it was reportedthat the Ministry of defense of intends to resume the project of development of a seaplane the A-40. In the course of finalizing the project, the aircraft will be upgraded. Armed with the A-40 is planned to be used as a universal anti-submarine and rescue aircraft.