“Kunlong” or the AG600 is China’s home-grown amphibious aircraft. It’s said to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft in production. The AG600 has now completed its maiden flight. It took off from the city of Zhuhai in southern China and landed after about an hour. It took to the skies earlier today to complete its long-awaited maiden flight, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The Kunlong has a wingspan of 28.8 meters and it relies on four turboprop engines for power. It can carry 50 people and has the capability to stay airborne for 12 hours.
“Its successful maiden flight makes China among the world’s few countries capable of developing a large amphibious aircraft,” said chief designer Huang Lingcai.
This aircraft is roughly the same size of the Boeing 737 and is much smaller than the Spruce Goose, a flying boat that billionaire aviator Howard Hughes had developed. It had a wingspan of 97 meters and was 67 meters long. It only made a brief flight back in 1947.
While reports claim that this amphibious aircraft has military applications, it will be used for marine rescue and firefighting efforts. According to a report by the state media, at least 17 orders for the Kunlong have been placed so far with Aviation Industry Corp of China, the state-owned manufacturer of this amphibious aircraft.