Military Review

Sea dragon: China creates the largest seaplane in the world

35

Faithful dear



In April this year, Xinhua News Agency reportedthat the new Chinese aircraft AG600 "Jiaolong" went through another important stage on the way to its full birth. The machine first made a series of flights over the sea surface. This is not the first flight over water. In October 2018, a seaplane successfully took off from the water surface and landed on it: then the tests were carried out on the freshwater reservoir of the Zhanghe River in Hubei Province. Recall that the car made its first flight back in 2017, taking off from Zhuhai Airport.

Speaking specifically about recent marine tests, they have fundamental differences from earlier tests. Tests allow you to evaluate the effect of the marine environment on the glider of the machine and the operation of its systems. This test phase is intended to prepare the AG600 for the next, even more important. Namely - for takeoff and landing in marine conditions. The wait is not so long: if everything goes as the Chinese plan, then the first such tests will take place before the end of 2020.

History This machine began back in 2009: it was then that the specialists of the China Aircraft Corporation (AVIC) began work on the creation of the aircraft. The development and production of the AG600 involved 150 institutes and research centers and 70 enterprises of Chinese industry. They invested about three billion yuan (more than $ 440 million) in development: not a little, but not a lot by the standards of modern aircraft manufacturing. The first prototype rolled off the assembly line in 2016.

The Chinese have traditionally ambitious plans. The machine should become a real "workhorse", performing a variety of tasks: putting out fires, conducting search and rescue operations, cargo delivery and so on. The Chinese expect it to be used both for peaceful purposes and for the needs of the People's Liberation Army. There, the plane is seen as a patrol flying boat.

The aircraft is 37 meters long and has a wingspan of 38,8. De facto this is the largest seaplane of all of them existing in our time. However, it is appropriate to say that the Soviet A-40 Albatros was larger: it had a length of 45,70 meters and a wingspan of 42,50. Well, the largest amphibious aircraft of all time is the famous Hughes H-4 Hercules.

"Chinese" boasts impressive features. The maximum take-off weight of the AG600 is 53,5 tons, and the duration of stay in the air can reach twelve hours. According to data from open sources, the aircraft can collect twelve tons of water in twenty seconds. Four WJ-6 turboprop engines allow it to fly at a speed of up to 570 kilometers per hour.

Three heroes


As you can see, the program is developing, and the pace of development deserves respect. Involuntarily, not the most pleasant comparison arises with the Be-200 amphibious aircraft, which they began to develop in the early 90s and which made its first flight back in 1998. Despite the increased attention to the project from the authorities and the media, today they have produced a little more than a dozen such machines, which, of course, is a very modest figure. However, the economic potential of Russia and China is fundamentally different, this should not be forgotten either.


In general, the Chinese approach issues related to the development of the aircraft industry comprehensively and on a large scale. The AG600 is only part of a program to create brand new winged vehicles. In addition to Jiaolong, the top three large aircraft that should be sold in this area include the military transporter Y-20 and the passenger C919. This, of course, is far from all that China wants to receive in the coming years.

It is worth recalling that as far back as 2017, the PRC air forces officially armed themselves with a fifth-generation fighter J-20, and now an inconspicuous strategic bomber Xian H-20 is approaching (probably a direct analogue of the American B-2). Thus, the total number of key projects for the Chinese aircraft industry can be increased to five, although there is still a very important Russian-Chinese project for the CR929 wide-body passenger aircraft. But this is not the near future.

For the future


There is no doubt that the Middle Kingdom will have time, desire and opportunities to implement not only them, but also many other aviation projects. Another question is whether there will be global demand for them. According to economists, in the modern world there is no problem to produce anything, but there is a big problem to sell manufactured goods. And if you don’t have to worry about the fate of the passenger C919 (Chinese companies have already placed orders for hundreds of such cars), in the case of the AG600, everything is far from being so rosy.


Photo: AG600 (flickr.com defensedesk)

Despite the wide functionality possible, the market does not need many of these machines. Earlier it became known that China Aviation Industry General Aircraft received orders for seventeen new seaplanes. Signing even one major international contract will be a great success.

But competitors are not asleep. Japan several years ago lifted the ban on the export of military equipment and dual-use products. And Shin Maiwa, in turn, received permission from the Ministry of Defense to export the new ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft, the tasks of which overlap with those of the AG600 and the Russian Be-200. At the same time, US-2 is already in operation - it is used by the Marine Self-Defense Forces.


It is noteworthy that it is the Asian market that the Japanese are most actively exploring (which, of course, is quite logical). Earlier, US-2 won the Indian tender with the delivery of fifteen new aircraft. The four-engine “Japanese” is also interested in Indonesia.

But what about Russia? Obviously, despite all the difficulties the Be-200s will continue to build. Recall, on February 200, a Be-2018ES aircraft built for the Ministry of Defense took off for the first time in Taganrog. The total number of cars that will be delivered under the renegotiated in XNUMX contract is three.

And in September last year, it became known that Russia would try again to become the manufacturer of the largest seaplanes, challenging the PRC: as it became known then, the Russian Ministry of Defense decided to resume the development of the Albatross amphibious aircraft project. “After refinement, the device will receive modern means of detecting submarines, and this will significantly expand its combat capabilities,” said then Admiral Valentin Selivanov, former chief of the Navy Main Staff. - Basically, aircraft of this type are designed for operations in coastal seas, including the Baltic, Black, Barents and Japanese. "Albatross" is equipped with a range of tools for detecting submarines. For example, it can reset and remotely install special buoys and other devices that help detect the enemy. "


Of course, it’s good to have Napoleonic plans. But even better when there is scope for their implementation. China, despite all the difficulties described above, has them.
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  1. AllBiBek
    AllBiBek April 30 2020 18: 08 New
    -2
    Suitable for servicing underwater drones; there, recharge the batteries, remove the information, update the firmware ...
    1. neri73-r
      neri73-r April 30 2020 20: 11 New
      0
      The first objective article about this Sea Dragon. And then all the previous ones began with - "the biggest ........" without mentioning the A-40, etc.
      1. bayard
        bayard 2 May 2020 21: 27 New
        0
        Now the situation with aircraft engine building in our country is such that perhaps it is really wiser to return to the Albatross project, because it has an engine for it. You can even adapt the PD-14, while slightly increasing the capabilities of the updated A-40. For the Be-200 will remain without domestic engines for a very long time.
        In general, it is better to design planes for a specific, ready-made engine.
    2. Ryaruav
      Ryaruav April 30 2020 21: 17 New
      0
      Anatoly, you don’t drive fiction, now the Yankees only experience surface drones, and about underwater and even Chinese, this is far from easy
      1. AllBiBek
        AllBiBek 1 May 2020 11: 35 New
        -1
        Well, on the news a couple of times just last year it slipped that they got underwater drones of unknown purpose and presumably of Chinese manufacture, and what and how - I don’t monitor it.

        But it begs that a lot of people are actively working on this topic.
    3. Uncle Izya
      Uncle Izya 1 May 2020 10: 26 New
      0
      And what only amphibians are needed for this?
  2. wow
    wow April 30 2020 18: 13 New
    +1
    No matter how the Chinese "comrades" approach "this issue", they were, are, and will remain just good copyrights. However, like the Japanese.
  3. Krasnoyarsk
    Krasnoyarsk April 30 2020 18: 30 New
    +2
    = China, despite all the difficulties described above, has them. =
    Everyone has difficulties. That's why for some reason only we refer to them.
  4. Prisoner
    Prisoner April 30 2020 18: 45 New
    +4
    Strange article. The author complains that the BE-200 "today produced a little more than a dozen such machines, which, of course, is a very modest figure." And then, "despite the broad functionalities, it is possible that the market does not need a lot of such machines." winked
    1. viktor_ui
      viktor_ui 1 May 2020 09: 53 New
      0
      when, last year, Siberia burned for more than a month - where were these be-200s and other firefighters flying? Over the hill, the loot was earned, but they told us april that such fires did not make sense to squeeze - it’ll calm down itself. Recently, more and more talking room, and there has been a clear tendency to talk about any technical unit many times in different stages of its production, which leads to the illusion of multiplicity in fact one. What for me, done, SHOWN.
      1. AllBiBek
        AllBiBek 1 May 2020 11: 37 New
        -1
        Where they were when the whole of Australia burned out. In general, all.

        It is impractical to extinguish such a scale.
        1. viktor_ui
          viktor_ui 1 May 2020 14: 10 New
          0
          I know that in Australia they were for the currency ... and it becomes parallel to me whether we have them or not. In recent years, in Siberia, there were simply fucking deforestation by Chinese harvesting combines, and after the fires at the same time as floods. -guber nearly Baikal sold the whole of the Chinese. Otel conclusion ... high-level chatter about heavy aircraft of the civilian sector will remain chatter.
      2. FORCE 38GB
        FORCE 38GB 1 May 2020 15: 15 New
        +1
        They extinguished .. I didn’t see the flies flying over Ust-Ilimsk, but the Be-200s rushed from the Krasnoyarsk airfield without ceasing .. A pair of sides for sure! On the radar from morning till night were. Water was collected in the area of ​​Kodinsk .. BUT! It was already towards the end of the fires ..
        1. viktor_ui
          viktor_ui 1 May 2020 15: 45 New
          0
          And I know this, but the cat was crying from them ... for the fire was crushed at the beginning of the heat, and not to hat analysis ... after the fight they did not wave their fists. Yes, and all this was more like blurring the eyes of people, which further indicated inadequate steering and helmsman of different styles. Yes, and there were also videos from the arson photo traps from the Ministry of Emergencies (if the memory has not gone out) - it has a lot in common with those four caught geeks-arsonists from the Duma. Themselves burn, themselves and loot drag allocated allocated to fight fires - hurt themselves settled.
  5. calm
    calm April 30 2020 19: 32 New
    +3
    Hughes Hercules was never an amphibian, it is a flying boat that could not land.
    If you look at a Chinese plane taking off and landing on water - a pancake without sharp turns,
    There are great doubts that he will be able to be used as a firefighter. Indeed, in this case, the main thing is the thrust-to-weight ratio, and the Be-200 has much higher.
    1. D16
      D16 April 30 2020 21: 47 New
      0
      pancake without sharp turns,

      And you look at the height of this pepelats, and what ailerons are needed to tilt it at landing speed laughing .
      There are great doubts that he will be able to be used as a firefighter. Indeed, in this case, the main thing is the thrust-to-weight ratio

      It depends on where, how and how much water to take.
  6. Radikal
    Radikal April 30 2020 19: 33 New
    0
    Sea dragon: China creates the largest seaplane in the world
    What about the Russian Federation?
    1. D16
      D16 April 30 2020 21: 06 New
      +7
      Does the RF really need it? What such anti-submarine can Albatros or this Chinese patroller, which can not IL-38? Do not offer landing on water. It is possible only in very good weather, and the subsequent take-off from the water will gobble up a lot of fuel. It’s easier to drop the GA buoys. And pay attention to the side projection of this AG-600. To sit on the water with a side wind is not a problem, but how to sit on a narrow betonka?
      1. Bad_gr
        Bad_gr 1 May 2020 13: 57 New
        0
        Quote: D16
        Does the RF really need it?

        As firefighters and search-and-rescue crews — we need them, as regards anti-submarine ones — we must ask those who have an idea what these tasks are.
        Option for the Navy:
        ".... Unlike the seaplanes built for the Russian Emergencies Ministry, the naval amphibian .... can carry rescue containers with an emergency raft and a supply of water and food for dumping into the water.
        It is assumed that the Be-200 military seaplanes will enter the Black Sea Fleet, where they will replace the obsolete Be-12 amphibians and will be used for search and rescue purposes, as well as for follow-up surveillance and reconnaissance during rescue operations.
        The maximum patrol time at a distance of 500 kilometers from the home airfield is about six hours. Search and patrol altitude from 100 to 8000 meters. The speed when flying around the patrol zone is 220 km / h. The maximum speed is 610 km / h. The crew is three people. Can evacuate up to 60 people ...... "
        1. D16
          D16 1 May 2020 14: 26 New
          +1
          As firefighters

          As firefighters, the amphibian takes water from closed reservoirs. There is no excitement like in the seas-oceans. Therefore, the "seaworthiness" of the Be-200, to put it mildly ... for Gelendzhik Bay. But it looks more like an airplane, flies better and sits on concrete than the Chinese AG-600.
          rescue

          Search and rescue are usually engaged in bad weather, since no one usually needs good rescue. After landing on water in a storm, the crew of this flying ship will also have to be rescued. As in the rest, and after an attempt to land on land with a strong crosswind. To dump a rescue container with a rescue boat, you do not need to block the amphibian. A regular patrol plane is suitable for this. The same IL-38 has a combat radius of 2200 km.
          1. calm
            calm 1 May 2020 19: 28 New
            +1
            The Be-200 can take water from open water, extinguished fires in Sardinia and near Nice with water intake from the Mediterranean Sea, the maximum height of the wind wave is 1,2 meters. The aircraft is tested with hanging containers with rafts to discharge if it is impossible to land on water. The aircraft has no restriction on water intake towards the mountainous coast; there is enough thrust-to-weight ratio.
            1. D16
              D16 1 May 2020 21: 44 New
              0
              and what was the weather like at that time in open water?
        2. calm
          calm 1 May 2020 19: 31 New
          0
          610 km / h is the maximum dive speed, cruising is 530 km / h. Do not forget that this is the speed of the instrument.
  7. businessv
    businessv April 30 2020 19: 38 New
    0
    Of course, it’s good to have Napoleonic plans. But even better when there is scope for their implementation.
    Colleagues who are aware of Albatross - he was already in the gland, but
    the Russian Defense Ministry decided to resume the development of the Albatross amphibious aircraft project.
    What does it mean to resume a project? Continue to release them?
    1. D16
      D16 April 30 2020 21: 07 New
      0
      Continue to release them?

      To start remotorize.
  8. Region-25.rus
    Region-25.rus April 30 2020 20: 09 New
    0
    A seaplane is an ordinary airplane with floats attached. And if the fuselage has gliding lines and splashes down directly onto it, then this is already a "flying boat" Educational program for the authors of the article.
    1. thinker
      thinker April 30 2020 21: 01 New
      +1
      An ordinary plane with attached floats is called a float seaplane. Likbez - useful business yes
      https://vpolete.online/samoletyi/gidrosamoletyi.html
  9. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 April 30 2020 20: 19 New
    0
    Personnel, money and technological capabilities in our time are everything
  10. Alex013
    Alex013 April 30 2020 21: 00 New
    0
    Martin Mars will be larger, in operation since 43 years. An article on the site was welcome.

    https://topwar.ru/74415-martin-jrm-mars-krupneyshiy-v-mire-seriynyy-gidrosamolet.html
  11. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav April 30 2020 21: 12 New
    +1
    the question is what is the bad about the Be-200, we need a high-speed multifunctional amphibian, it would seem that there is already a ready-made base, but yes, I forgot, after 40 years I really need a pack, yes
  12. Keyser soze
    Keyser soze April 30 2020 21: 21 New
    +2
    No, of course, it is subjective .... but this flying Chinese basket is a little ugly, so to speak .... wassat
  13. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse April 30 2020 22: 07 New
    +1
    China has a place to apply all these chic seaplanes. They live in the subtropics. But today’s Russia, God forbid to protect your tundra from the arrogant neighbors, not now before the hydroaviation, frankly speaking.
  14. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter April 30 2020 23: 08 New
    +1
    China! ... He knows his work well.
    There, the guys do not play games, they are damned communists, they do things (unlike us, double jobs) to put it mildly ..
    By the way, I can’t understand why the word is allowed on the federal channel ........., But here, no?
    Soon the gentlemen and ladies of the PRC will remember to fly in space on ekranoplans. And here you poke minus ...
    Here is such a squiggle. Continue further your ravings for a liberal economy and other nonsense.
  15. Radikal
    Radikal April 30 2020 23: 14 New
    0
    Quote: D16
    Does the RF really need it? What such anti-submarine can Albatros or this Chinese patroller, which can not IL-38? Do not offer landing on water. It is possible only in very good weather, and the subsequent take-off from the water will gobble up a lot of fuel. It’s easier to drop the GA buoys. And pay attention to the side projection of this AG-600. To sit on the water with a side wind is not a problem, but how to sit on a narrow betonka?

    Maybe I admit. My question is purely rhetorical. hi
  16. Sahalinets
    Sahalinets 1 May 2020 04: 52 New
    0
    Seaplanes and even amphibians are now a purely niche product. Small hydroplanes are appropriate somewhere in the lost corners for civilian needs. But large amphibians are simply not needed, especially in our country. They lose to normal airplanes in everything, and their ability to land on water is purely conditional. Well, how often is it calm in the Barents Sea and, especially, in the Pacific Ocean?