AVIC, a Chinese aircraft manufacturing corporation, carried out taxi tests of the promising amphibian AG600, the largest seaplane in the world. According to Xinhua, the aircraft performed a series of runs at the test airfield in Zhuhai. The checks performed were considered successful.
At present, China is engaged in many territorial disputes, including on the ownership of some of the islands in the South China and East China Seas. Not far from some of the disputed territories, China has deployed small military bases, which are currently provided with ships.
China intends to use new seaplanes for promptly delivering troops to disputed territories, as well as in search and rescue operations, for sea patrols and fire fighting.
The AG600 is 37 meters long and its wingspan is 39 meters. As expected, the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft will be 53.5 tons. The seaplane will be able to fly over a distance of up to five thousand kilometers. AG600, equipped with four turboprop engines WJ-6, can carry up to 50 people and fly at speeds up to 570 kilometers per hour.
For comparison, the Russian twin-engine amphibious aircraft Be-200 has a length of 32 meters and a wingspan of 32.8 meters. The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 42 tons. A seaplane can reach speeds of up to 700 kilometers per hour and fly over a distance of up to 3.1 thousand kilometers. The aircraft is designed for the carriage of goods weighing eight tons.