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China's large amphibious aircraft to fly in 2016

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An illustration of AG600 amphibious aircraft. Source: english.gov.cn

BEIJING (PTI): A Chinese aircraft, intended to be the world's largest amphibian, will have its maiden flight next year, officials have said.

The AVIC General Aircraft Company said Tuesday that the AG600 will have its first flight in 2016.

The aircraft has a take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes. It can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds and could be used to fight forest fires also for marine rescue missions.

The final assembly will be completed in 2015, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The development and production of the plane received government approval in 2009.

The first flight of China's first light amphibious aircraft, the HO300, took place in 2010.

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