File photo shows the amphibious aircraft AG600 is rolling offline in Zhuhai
BEIJING, July 26 (ChinaMil) -- The amphibious aircraft AG600, one of the "three large airplanes" of China and the largest of its kind that's in the pipeline in the world today, was rolling off the assembly line on July 23 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.
When interviewed by CCTV, a military expert said AG600 is able to land where regular aircraft cannot, and it can reach any corner of the South China Sea anytime. It will serve as an excellent vehicle for patrol, rescue and relief in the South China Sea and as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft.
With completely independent IPR, the China-made AG600 "Jiaolong" amphibious aircraft is 37m long, 38.8m in wingspan and 12.1m tall, equivalent to Boeing 737. With the maximal takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, maximal cruising speed of 500km/h and maximal endurance of 12 hours, AG600 is able to cover the whole South China Sea from Sanya and is capable of multiple special tasks such as putting out forest fire and conducting rescue and relief on the sea.
CCTV reported that when carrying out forest fire prevention missions, AG600 can take 12 ton water a time and effectively put out fire the size of a standard football court; and when carrying out maritime rescue and relief missions, it can save up to 50 people a time.
Yin Zhuo, director of the Navy's Expert Consultation Committee of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, said in an interview with CCTV program Asia Today that AG600 fills a blank in China's aviation industry and in the field of military/civilian aircraft.
Being extremely difficult to develop, Yin continued, amphibious aircraft not only has to meet the flying demand that requires high speed and long range, but also to sail steadily on water. Unlike other water planes, AG600 has airplane wheels that enable it to take off and land freely either on land or water, making it a triphibian actually.
According to military expert Li Li, the biggest purpose of AG600 is that it can undertake the most central tasks in case of unexpected shipwreck or major events that require rescue and relief efforts. In the future, AG600 will be an ideal option for conducting maritime rescue and relief because it is able to land in river, lake or the sea where regular planes cannot. Its application threshold is so much lower than for regular planes that it has vast application prospects.
According to CCTV report, Japan's US-2 and Russia's B-200 are also large water planes, the former with a range of 4700km, maximal speed of 580km/h and maximal takeoff weight of 47.7 tons, while the latter with a range of 3850km, maximal speed of 700km/h and maximal takeoff weight of 37.2 tons. In comparison, China's AG600 has a range of 4500km, maximal speed of 500km/h and maximal takeoff weight of 53.5 tons. The data show that China's Jiaolong and the mainstream water planes of the other two countries have respective strengths, but AG600 has overwhelming advantages in maximal takeoff weight.
"In the past, it took at least one week from Sanya to the southernmost end of South China Sea by fast steamer, but now AG600 can arrive at the scene of accident in about two hours. It significantly improves China's capability of rescue and relief guarantee and is a new milestone in China's big plane manufacturing. Calling it 'treasure of the nation' is no exaggeration at all," said Song Qingguo, president of the AVIC General, in an interview.
Yin Zhuo said that as AG600 can reach any corner of the South China Sea anytime thanks to its long range, it will serve as a great vehicle for patrol, rescue and relief in the South China Sea. Besides, equipped with four propeller engines, AG600 is able to fly at low altitude and low speed or on water for a long time, so it can also serve as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft to effectively suppress the submarine.