China Builds its Ninth AG600M Amphibious Aircraft

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China Builds its Ninth AG600M Amphibious Aircraft
Increasing concerns in Japan, China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has built nine AG600M aircraft by the end of 2023.

CAIGA, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), has built nine AG600M amphibious aircraft by the end of 2023. The arrival of the AG600M aircraft prototype at the National Civil Aircraft Test Flight Base in Pucheng, Shaanxi Province, marks the next step in the flight test program of this seaplane project.
Four new AG600Ms with registrations B-0DCC, B-0HEH, B-0AWT, and B-0FAS are currently in the flight test program. Most of the testing was carried out at Zhanghe Airport. Meanwhile, testing from above the water surface was conducted at Zhanghe Reservoir.
Last year, the National Civil Aircraft Test Flight Base opened its facilities at the new Pucheng airfield.
This giant AG600M amphibious aircraft is expected to enter the market in 2025. The first aircraft will be an aerial firefighting version, followed by a Search and Rescue variant.
The aircraft conducted its maiden flight from Jinwan Airport, Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province on December 24 2017. It took off for the first time from the water surface of the Zhanghe Reservoir in Hubei Province, Central China, on October 22 2018.
The AG600M has dimensions of 36.9 m, a height of 12.1 m, and a wingspan of 38.8 m. Its size is equivalent to a Boeing 737 commercial jetliner.

aG600.jpgThis fact makes it the largest amphibious aircraft in the world today, beating the ShinMaywa US-2 from Japan and the Beriev Be-200 from Russia.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 60 tons, this aircraft is powered by four locally made Dongan WJ-6 six-bladed turboprop engines with a 500 km/hour flying speed.
The AG600M can fly at a maximum altitude of 6,000 m with an operating range of 4,500 km or an endurance of 12 hours.
Japan and China have historically disagreed, particularly in the East China Sea region. The introduction of a big amphibious aircraft, such as the AG600, might affect the disputes and may be examined through the perspective of regional power dynamics and military capabilities.
Even though the Chinese media stresses that the AG600ms are designed to respond to emergencies, its size and amphibious capability allow it to transport personnel and provide logistic supply. 

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