BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The AG600 amphibious aircraft is expected to take its maiden flight over land in the first half 2017 and on water in the second half, said its developer, the AVIC.
Similar in size to the Boeing 737, the AG600 will be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, according to the state aircraft maker the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The 37-meter AG600, with a wingspan of 38.8 meters, has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes.
The aircraft has already received 17 orders due to its multiple uses in fighting forest fires and marine rescue, according to AVIC.
The first AG600 was completed in the southern city of Zhuhai in July last year, and shown to the public at the 2016 China Airshow.
According to chief designer Huang Lingcai, "The AG600 is like a ship that can fly" due to its advanced gas-water dynamic engineering and underwater corrosion resistance technology.
With four China-made turboprop engines, the AG600 has a "ship's body" with high mounted single-cantilever wing.
It can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds, and transport up to 370 tonnes of water on a single tank of fuel.
With excellent maneuverability and a relatively wide range of search scope, the AG600 is very useful in marine resource exploitation, marine environmental monitoring, resource detection and transportation.