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Kunlong: China Unveils World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft For Marine Rescue

China's home-grown AG600, the world's largest amphibious aircraft in production, took to the skies its maiden flight.

The plane, codenamed 'Kunlong' according to state news agency Xinhua, took off from the southern city of Zhuhai and landed after roughly an hour-long flight.

With a wingspan of 38.8 metres (127 feet) and powered by four turboprop engines, the aircraft is capable of carrying 50 people and can stay airborne for 12 hours.

The amphibious aircraft has military applications but will be used for firefighting and marine rescue, with at least 17 orders placed so far with state-owned manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China, state media reported.

'Its 4,500-km operational range and ability to land andtake off from water makes it well-suited for deployment over China's artificial islands.

The AG600 can carry 50 during maritime search-and-rescue missions, and can scoop up 12 metric tons of water within 20 seconds for fire fighting trips.