China's locally built and developed AG600 amphibious aircraft is expected to be available for delivery to customers by 2022, the state-owned Xinhua news agency quoted the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) as saying on 13 May.
"We are endeavouring to get the airworthiness certification from the civil aviation authorities by 2021, and deliver it [the aircraft] to the customers by 2022," said AG600 chief designer Huang Lingcai, who did not name any countries as possible customers.
Huang, who is also chief engineer at the AVIC General Aircraft Research Institute, said that following the aircraft’s successful maiden flight on 24 December 2017, the platform is expected to conduct a ferry flight in July from the company’s research base in Zhuhai, in China’s southeastern Guangdong Province, to Jingmen, in the country’s central Hubei Province.
The platform will be then prepared to carry out its first take-off from the water: a move scheduled to take place later this year.
With a wing span of 38.8 m and a length of 37 m, the AG600 is the third large aircraft designed and built in the country following the Y-20 military transport aircraft, which entered service in 2016, and the 190-seat C-919 commercial passenger aircraft, which made its maiden flight in July 2017.
Powered by four WJ-6 turboprop engines (derivatives of the Ivchenko AI-20), the AG600 has a cruising speed of 500 km/h, an endurance of 12 hours, and a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes.
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