China Flies AG600 from the Sea, Suggests Assault Ship Could Operate Aircraft
Reaching anywhere in contested areas or its reclaimed bases in the South China Sea for resupply missions or maritime patrol
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July 27, 2020 - by Chen Chuanren for ainonline.com
More than 30 months after its first flight, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) AG600 Kunlong seaplane made its first ocean flight in the waters off the city of Qingdao on July 26. Though the test flight was conducted in relatively calm waters, AVIC said, it was technically more challenging than the October 2018 flight from a freshwater lake in Jingmen due to the salinity of the waters. Deliveries for the world's largest amphibian are expected to begin in 2022.
With an endurance of 12 hours, the AG600 is able to depart from the Chinese military base in Hainan Island and reach anywhere in contested areas or its reclaimed bases in the South China Sea for resupply missions or maritime patrol. Ships would require around a week to navigate from Hainan to the southernmost point of China's areas of interest.
The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of approximately 117,700 pounds (53.6 tonnes) and...
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