The AG600, developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, is said to have entered the assembly stage in Zhuhai, a major city in southern China's Guangdong province, with hopes of conducting its maiden flight next year.
The amphibious aircraft, developed for sea rescue and firefighting missions, can takeoff from land or water and has a maximum takeoff weight of over 50 tons. It is capable of rescuing 50 people at a time on sea rescue missions.
With a maximum flight range over more than 5,000 kilometers, and an effective rescue radius of nearly 3,000 kilometers, the aircraft is also believed to have strategic value in the South China Sea, where China is embroiled in several territorial disputes.
Russia and Japan are the only other countries in the world to have developed large-sized amphibious aircraft, though the AG600 is the largest of the three and has only taken six years to reach this stage since the project was initiated in 2009.
Other large-sized aircraft being developed by China include the C919 narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner and the Y-20 large military transport aircraft.
The first batch of the C919 commercial airliners are also currently being assembled in Shanghai. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China has already received 507 orders for the aircraft, which can carry more than 150 passengers.
The Y-20, in the two years since its maiden flight, has been undergoing tests in various extreme environments. The plane, developed by Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, makes China the world's fourth country to develop its own large transport aircraft.
The C919 is set for its maiden flight next year, while the Y-20 is set to be delivered in the short term.
The AVIC TA-600 flying boat at the AVIC Chengfei Commercial Aircraft Company factory in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. The AVIC TA-600, also known as AG-600, is a large amphibious flying boat that is being designed and built in China by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.