A herculean aircraft takes to the skies as China's AG600, the world's largest amphibious aircraft successfully completes a one-hour flight out of Zhuhai city. Among other features, it is created to be the largest of its kind in the world, can carry 50 people on rescue missions and carry 370 tons of water in each tank.
Created to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the AG600 will be mainly used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires and marine monitoring.
The reports also say that the AG600 can be used for marine environment surveys.
After nearly eight years in the making, its four turboprop engines allow the aircraft to stay aloft for up to 12 hours and already the government has commissioned 17 orders from the state-owned manufacturing company, Aviation Industry Corp of China. However, it made only one brief flight in 1947.
The plane has been eight years in development, has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes and a wingspan of 38.8m (127ft). These specifications have made it the world's largest amphibious aircraft, surpassing Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 and Russia's Beriev Be-200.
The AG600's flight capabilities put all of China's island-building projects in the South China Sea well within range.
"The plane's capacity and maneuverability makes it ideal for transporting materiel to those maritime features that are too structurally fragile to support runways", Char said.
China's policy on the South China Sea is hotly contested by a number of neighbouring countries and.