Chinese amphibious aircraft AG600 "Jilong" made the first takeoff from the surface of the sea. The plane was tested on July 26 and was recognized as successful, CGTN reports.
The aircraft was reportedly tested in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province. The plane took off for the first time from the sea surface, but landed at a ground airfield. In total, the AG600 spent 31 minutes in the air.
Note that AG600 has already been tested on water, but all passed tests were carried out in Hubei province in a reservoir on the Changhe River, i.e. in fresh water. The started tests at sea should provide developers with data on the impact of the aggressive marine environment on the airframe of the aircraft, its components and assemblies. In addition, the aircraft's controllability will be tested in various sea conditions.
The Chinese Jilong amphibious aircraft (AG600) has been under development since 2009. Flight tests began in 2017, water tests - from 2018.
The aircraft is designed to extinguish fires and conduct rescue operations on the water. It is equipped with four turboprop engines, is able to stay in the air for up to 12 hours. The maximum take-off weight of the AG600 is 53,5 tons, the hull length is 39,3 meters, the wingspan is 38,8 meters, and the maximum flight range is 4,5 thousand kilometers. Today it is the largest amphibious aircraft not only in China, but also throughout the world.