15 May 2017

News Story: China's AG600 Mega Seaplane Prepares For First Flight

CGI of the AG600 Jiaolong (Water Dragon)
by Chen Chuanren

Claimed to be the world’s largest seaplane, China’s AG600 amphibian carried out its first high speed taxi test at Avic’s facility in Zhuhai on April 29. The taxi run validated the aircraft’s steering, trimming and braking capability as it made a 180 degrees turn after a straight run.

According to Avic, the AG600’s brakes and engines performed well during the test, clearing the way for further ground evaluations ahead of a planned first flight from land in late May, followed by a subsequent takeoff from sea during the second half of 2017. Avic has shortlisted eight test pilots, although only three will make the debut flight.

State-owned Avic rolled out the AG600 in July 2016 and gave it a public debut at November’s Airshow China in Zhuhai. The AG600 has a length of 121 feet (36.9 meters), wingspan of 127 feet (38.8 meters), a maximum take off weight (MTOW) 117,700 pounds (53.5 metric tons) on land and is powered by four six-bladed WJ-6 turboprop engines. In comparison, the Japanese ShinMaywa US-1A amphibian has a MTOW of 99,000 pounds (45 metric tons).

Read the full story at AINonline