Beijing debuted its massive AG600 amphibious aircraft in Zhuhai, the government announced Saturday. Photo courtesy of Chinese government
GUANGZHOU, China, July 25 (UPI) -- Beijing debuted its indigenously made AG600 amphibious aircraft in Zhuhai, the government announced Saturday.
The massive aircraft will be used to fight forest fires and perform maritime rescue missions, the government said in a statement that called the aircraft "a milestone for the country."
It is the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the government said, and is about the size of a Boeing 737.
It has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons and a max flight range of about 2,800 miles.
The 121-foot long aircraft also has a maximum endurance of 12 hours, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
It also has a 127-foot wingspan and can take off and land like an ordinary airplane but can also land and depart in stretches of water that are at least 4,900 feet long, 650 feet wide and 8 feet deep, Xinhua reported.
The aircraft can also collect 12 tons of water in 20 seconds and transport up to 370 tons of water on a single tank of fuel.
It is also capable of rescuing up to 50 people far offshore.
The aircraft represents nearly seven years of work by a group of 70 aircraft component manufacturers and research teams from more than 150 institutes in 20 Chinese provinces and municipalities.
The aircraft will mainly be targeted at the domestic market, Xinhua reported.