World’s largest amphibious aircraft AG600 performed maiden flight in China

Vastavam web: China’s domestically developed AG600, the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, performed its maiden flight on Sunday from an airport on the shores of the South China Sea, the latest step in a military modernisation programme.China has stepped up research on advanced military equipment as it adopts a more muscular approach to territorial disputes in places such as the disputed South China Sea, rattling nerves in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.

State television showed live images of the AG600 lifting off from Zhuhai airport in the southern province of Guangdong, which sits on the South China Sea coast.Xinhua news agency said the aircraft was the “protector spirit of the sea, islands and reefs”.It had previously been scheduled to make its first flight earlier this year but it is unclear why it was delayed after ground tests took place in April.

However, state media has also noted its potential use in the South China Sea, where China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei all have overlapping claims.The AG600’s chief designer, Huang Lingcai, was quoted in the official China Daily earlier this month as saying it can make round trips without refuelling from the southern island province of Hainan to James Shoal, claimed by China but which is located close to Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo.

The AG600’s chief designer, Huang Lingcai, was quoted in the official China Daily earlier this month as saying it can make round trips without refuelling from the southern island province of Hainan to James Shoal, claimed by China but which is located close to Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo.