China unveils ‘world’s largest seaplane’

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 (CNN) China has completed what it describes as the world’s largest seaplane.

The amphibious AG600 is about the size of a Boeing 737 and will be used to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue operations, state-run news agency Xinhua said.

With a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons, the AG600 is the largest seaplane in the world, Xinhua said. It has a reported flight range of 4,500 kilometers and can collect 12 tons of water in only 20 seconds.

China says the AG600 amphibious plane is the world's largest. (AFP/ Getty Images)
China says the AG600 amphibious plane is the world’s largest. (AFP/ Getty Images)

Earlier this month, China unveiled its first homegrown large military transport aircraft, as the country pushes to greatly expand its air power.

The Y-20, with a maximum takeoff weight of about 200 tons, officially joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a ceremony Wednesday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, according to China’s Defense Ministry.

Designed to transport cargo and people over long distances in challenging weather, the Y-20 — powered by four turbofan engines — is reportedly capable of flying 4,500 kilometers with a full load. Its range would extend to almost 8,000 kilometers when carrying 40 tons of freight.

The plane is part of a massive program to modernize China’s armed forces, the world’s largest, which includes the development of aircraft carriers, anti-satellite missiles and stealth fighters.

CNN’s Steven Jiang contributed to this report from Beijing.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. It is not the largest seaplane in the world at 53.7 tons…the Mars Martian is at 82.5 tons. It soon will be as the last 2 remaining Mars will be retired. The Chinese pilots trained on the Mars for the launch of their own aircraft.

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