ZHUHAI – China’s official news agency says China has unveiled the world’s largest amphibious aircraft that Beijing plans to use for marine missions and fighting forest fires.
The AVIC TA-600, also known as AG-600 aircraft, has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tonnes and a maximum range of more than 5,000 kilometers, can absorb 12 tonnes of water within 20 seconds, which is ideal for performing multiple operations including forest fire fighting, over-water Search and Rescue, marine environment monitoring, resource exploration, passenger and freight transportation and other operating tasks.
Its amphibious function makes it possible to take off from both land and water, rescuing 50 people at most on water at one time.
The AVIC General Aircraft Company has won 17 orders for the amphibious aircraft.
The report cites Chinese state aircraft maker, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, as saying the plane is nearly as big as a Boeing 737.
Last week, a Cessna 208B seaplane making its inaugural flight in China crashed into a highway bridge outside Shanghai, killing five people on board.