China's indigenously-developed AG600 large amphibious aircraft succeeded in its maiden flight over sea in Qingdao
The successful flight of China's AG600 large amphibious aircraft over sea is a hard-won result of many people from various fields, captain of the flight said on Sunday in Rizhao City, east China's Shandong Province. China's indigenously-developed AG600 large amphibious aircraft succeeded in its maiden flight over sea on July 26 in Qingdao City of Shandong Province. The successful maiden flight over sea is a major step forward in the development of this large amphibious aircraft following its maiden flight in 2017 and first takeoff from a water reservoir in 2018. Zhao Sheng, captain of AG600, said that the team has faced a number of challenges to achieve the success. "After all, the environment on the sea is different, which is a challenge to the aircraft. The water was relatively smooth when we flew it in a reservoir, and the wave was about 0.2 to 0.3 meters, or 20 to 30 centimeters in the strongest wind. However, it is different when it comes to the sea. Usually, the waves are more than 20 or 30 centimeters on the sea, and there is gushing sea water, which are more severe tests of the aircraft," said Zhao. Liu Ruqin, copilot of the flight team, is responsible to observe the waters and give advice to the captain. Liu said that the water condition might be dangerous with changing surroundings. "The water surface is disturbed when large ships pass by. Besides, there are some floating objects on the surface of the sea during the rising and falling of the tide," said Liu. The flight team needs to evaluate the performance of the aircraft through every move and feeling. The captain said that despite all the challenges, his team needs to explore the best performance of the aircraft, so as to make preparations for the further flight of the aircraft. "The successful flight of the aircraft is a hard-won result of many people from various fields. A lot of equipment manufacturers are waiting for the flight crew to verify many things. Whether we can do it well or not has a great bearing on them. If we fail to do it right, it will affect others' design and thought, and that would be a loss for us and for this aircraft. We have to do it right, and optimize the performance of the aircraft, and that's what we've got to do," said Zhao.