Aircraft

World's largest amphibious plane makes maiden flight in China

World's largest amphibious pla...
Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
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Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
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Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
Capable of taking off and landing on both water and land
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Capable of taking off and landing on both water and land
The successful maiden flight is ahead of the plane's first water flight sometime in the next six months
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The successful maiden flight is ahead of the plane's first water flight sometime in the next six months
Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
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Codenamed Kunlong, this is the world's largest amphibious plane
View gallery - 4 images

After eight years in development, the world's largest amphibious plane has taken to the skies in China for its maiden flight. The AG600, codenamed Kunlong, comfortably spent one-hour flying at an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) before safely landing back at the Jinwan Civil Aviation Airport in Zhuhai.

This enormous plane, around the size of a Boeing 737 with a wingspan of 38.8 m (127 ft) and a fuselage stretching 39.6 m (130 ft), has been designed for a variety of domestic applications in China, from civil rescue and firefighting functions to military defense purposes in the disputed South China Sea.

The design is being heralded as a landmark for Chinese aviation engineering with 98 percent of all the plane's components being made inside the country.

"It shows that the development of civil aviation industry in our country was lifted to a new level and that our capacity of independent research and development in this area has increased by a big margin," says Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei.

Capable of taking off and landing on both water and land
Capable of taking off and landing on both water and land

It's hard to talk about giant amphibious planes without mentioning the granddaddy of them all, the infamous Spruce Goose from the 1940s. Although the Kunlong is only a fraction of the size of this notorious dream project from eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes, it has certainly exceeded the Spruce Goose's brief 26 second maiden flight.

The Kunlong's ability to take off and land on water makes it an incredibly useful maritime rescue aircraft and the Chinese engineers suggest the plane can safely operate on seas with up to two-meter-high (6.5-ft) waves. The plane's maiden water flight is set to take place within the next six months.

Take a look at the maiden flight and landing for this massive plane in the video below.

Source: CCTV+

World’s Largest Amphibious Aircraft AG600 Complete Its Maiden Flight

View gallery - 4 images
8 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is way cool. It is like a modern Pam Am clipper.
Kalavo
“Infamous Spruce Goose” . Don’t get off couches everyone, stay comfortable.
WilliamSager
Modified with a water scoop this aircraft would be great at fighting fires.
christopherbunch
Let's see it actually take off and land from water before celebrating.
F Beckett
It may be the largest amphib flying today but the Spruce Goose had a wing span of 320 ft and length of 218 ft, It flew but he once but it was on the water. The Chinese have the Amphib record but not the Sea Plane record. I am sure it will be very functional in its many rolls.
Mr A
Looks very much like a 120% scale copy of the 1971 Japanese Shin Meiwa PS-1 / US-1A.
Slightly surprising they did not work with the Russians/Beriev. The Be-200 would seem to be a good competitor/basis for collaboration.
Ret. Engineer
Let us not forget the Martin MARS it was 117 ft (35.7meter) long with a 200 ft (60.9 meter) wing span. It was a sea plane only still in service as a water dropping fire fighter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_JRM_Mars
YuraG
It's good for land- and sea-grabs! Is the outer space next? Only CCtv has all the answers