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World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the spruce-goose-has-it-beat-for-size dept.

Transportation 85

stephendavion (2872091) writes "Chinese aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has started trial production of its TA600 amphibious aircraft, claimed to be the world's largest of its kind. With an expected maiden flight late next year, the Chinese plane would replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as the largest of its kind globally." Take a look at a side profile illustration of the CA-600, on this Korean language page. The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, but looks a bit puny compared to Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules.

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Next up (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47549289)

The world's tallest midget!

Re:Next up (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47550793)

they just left out the key qualifier word "operational". the current japanese one isn't that big at all, and puny compared to the ones we used in the navy even into the 60s. the new Chinese one here looks to be about the same size as the old trans-pacific clipper planes, maybe even as big as those huge navy seaplanes used to operate.

Re:Next up (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47551477)

I like the part where they painted a big red dot, like the Japanese. XD

Re:Next up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552655)

That's because the photo was of the smaller Japanese plane.

Why? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47549301)

We got the idea with the Hercules that you could resupply military fleets or save fuel with launch your cargo ship into the air if time became an issue(because of the war). It was misguided, but at least a reason for the amphibious design.

Why are they building giant amphibious cargo planes today? Who has that need?

Re:Why? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 3 months ago | (#47549357)

Why are they building giant amphibious cargo planes today? Who has that need?

Locations that need cargo quickly but can't be timely serviced by road, rail, or conventional aircraft? Perhaps island communities that don't have space for a runway but need things quicker than what a cargo ship could provide.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549429)

Most likely to aid in their claim on uninhabited islands in the South China Sea. Amphibious planes would allow for quick small arms transport to distant/remote islands.

Re:Why? (1)

thieh (3654731) | about 3 months ago | (#47549451)

"Island communities" in China sounds awfully familiar... Taiwan?

Re:Why? (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about 3 months ago | (#47549493)

I think Taiwan has airports. I actually had in mind all those islands that are in territory dispute with Japan. But regardless of which island it is and what country claims that island, they do exist.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549559)

Sprately islands, allows them to replenish garrisoned troops.

Well until hostile aircover enters the arena.

Re:Why? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 3 months ago | (#47549415)

People who need to land tons of rescue supplies into a flood zone or other disaster area where there are no runways, or the runways have been destroyed.

I can also see a market for these in areas with lots of small-to-medium inhabited islands, that don't have an airstrip big enough for conventional cargo planes, for the occasional high-bulk, time-sensitive cargo. (Medical equipment, for instance. Replacement engines for a ship.)

Re:Why? (-1, Flamebait)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47549509)

Y'all are naive. They are probably building these flying ships to invade us when they get really hungry. Asians eat anything, alive. Like watch some Korean live octopus eating videos. If push comes to shove and they are really hungry they can eat you and I too. I love Asian countries like I love tigers. They are beautiful, I want them to live well and prosper, but I worry they want to eat me for dinner. We better have an iron dome missile defense against these slow moving targets, because, when, out of the 1300 million people they got there, they decide to send 333 million to over here with these flying ships, that's a whole lot of flying ships to knock out of the sky, while they are still above the ocean, so they fall into the ocean and don't land on land. It's like a video game where you get a high score, but you cannot run out of ammo, and then it's game over, and in real life you cannot try and play again to get a higher score, unlike in a video game. By the way the US has 330 million people, so 333 million is 3 million more than that, and that's a lot of hungry mouths to feed once they land here, and they eat anything, including you and I, alive, for breakfast. And they'd still have another 1000 million of them left at home. Stack up on the iron dome missile shield ammo supply, I say.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551059)

If its a small-to-medium island, helicopters and parachute air drops are good enough until the naval landing ships can get there. The only REALLY time critical stuff would be food, water, blankets and medical supplies. Everything else, you can wait and you'll live.

Large amphibious aircraft fell out of favor for a reason: its for the DESPERATE. It was developed for wartime purposes because people were (rightfully) afraid of ships (with their critical cargo) being sunk by submarines. Russia/the U.S.S.R. only kept development going because the seas surrounded Russia are either inaccessible (the Arctic Sea is too cold/has glaciers), too far (Eastern Russia is practically uninhabited compared to Western Russia) or a strategic death trap (to exit the Black Sea you MUST pass through TWO narrow straits.)

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | about 3 months ago | (#47549501)

The Hercules, aka Spruce Goose, is not amphibious: it's a seaplane, period.

This is an amphibian: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi... [wikimedia.org]

Re:Why? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 3 months ago | (#47552039)

The Hercules, aka Spruce Goose, is not amphibious: it's a seaplane, period.

What is the difference? I'm interested.

Re:Why? (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47552453)

Seaplanes only land on water. Amphibious planes usually have retractable landing gear that goes into a water-tight compartment so that they can land on either water or on an appropriate runway.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549823)

Why are they building giant amphibious cargo planes today? Who has that need?

Firefighters?
Sometimes you need an ability to land on water surface and load water, but in the end of the day you want to base your planes on dry land.

Why amphibious planes are useful (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47549917)

Why are they building giant amphibious cargo planes today? Who has that need?

Isn't that sort of a self answering question? Let's break it down. 3/4 of the earth's surface is water and there aren't nice paved roads everywhere there is a need for cargo. Ships are slow, planes are not. Planes that can land on water do not need a prepared runway as any sufficiently large, reasonably calm body of water will suffice if there isn't a traditional runway available. Planes that can land/takeoff from water can be refueled there too meaning they do not have to worry about ditching when over water except in rough weather.

So basically anyone who needs relatively fast long distance transport of cargo to a remote area where there is water but possibly not runways. Describes more than a few places on earth.

Re:Why? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47549997)

The Hercules wasn't misguided at all. At the rate U-boats were sinking Liberty ships and the possibility of battleships like Bismark and Tirtipz roaming the Atlantic a big transport plane would work. Problem was that it was ahead of it's time, without computers to help the pilot it wasn't safe to fly.

I suspect one use of this plane is along the same lines. Submarines are not a concern. Fly low, under radar and you have a reasonable chance of moving large numbers of troops or supplies quickly to an isolated invasion point, even if your air cover can't protect you.

Re:Why? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47550599)

Well, it sure was called misguided in its era. Fraudulent, even. But I understand the motivation.

Re:Why? (2)

justfred (63412) | about 3 months ago | (#47551077)

The allegations against him and the plane were politically motivated; Senator Owen Brewster was "bought" by competitor Juan Trippe of Pan Am.

"In 1947, the Senate War Investigation Committee, led by Maine Senator Owen Brewster. The committee alleged that government funds had been misused in both the XF-11 and Spruce Goose Projects, siting the fact that neither project had resulted in a single aircraft delivered to the Air Force. Hughes maintained that there had been no wrong doing, and that Senator Brewster had taken contributions from Juan Tripp, President of Pan Am, a major competitor of Hughes' TWA. Although the hearings featuring Hughes' testimony electrified the nation, the committee disbanded without making a report."
http://www.otrcat.com/howard-h... [otrcat.com]

Re:Why? (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 3 months ago | (#47551561)

the movie "The Aviator" was fascinating to watch when they portrayed the hearing. Howard Hughes then turned the tide against Brewster with bringing up certain "contributions" the senator received including reference to the painting of llamas (first scene earlier in the movie where Howard was being sociable asking about where Owen got the painting. But he was really gathering information to be used for his benefit later). I believe movie script used was direct from the transcripts of that hearing. And there were other aircraft contracts of other companies that never delivered anything to the Army Air Corps.

Re:Why? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | about 3 months ago | (#47555595)

Yeah but Hughes never built *anything* that worked.

Re:Why? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47550779)

that and the largest planes at the time, including all trans-oceanic passenger planes, were all flying boats.

the only reason flying boats fell out of use is the range of land based aircraft increased sufficiently that the ability to land and refuel on the water was no longer a strength, and the ability to have a streamlined fuselage is an efficiency and speed advantage over seaplanes.

but there are still many cases where seaplanes have important uses, such as maritime operations, particularly search and rescue.

Re:Why? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 3 months ago | (#47552229)

the only reason flying boats fell out of use is the range of land based aircraft increased sufficiently that the ability to land and refuel on the water was no longer a strength, and the ability to have a streamlined fuselage is an efficiency and speed advantage over seaplanes.

That's two reasons. How about also the fact that more dry land runways were built as time went on.

You also need to consider the imperial background of the Great Powers. The British Empire (and the French and US Empires too) included large numbers of small islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, each with a post office, a local government official, a bit of trade, sea around them, a jetty, and no airstrip. The flying boats were ideal for carrying the post and lighter trade items which got there faster than by the monthly (if you were lucky) cargo steam ship.

Once these places got their independence, typically in the 1950's, they were no longer an Imperial responsibility but neither could they support a commercial air service of any sort at the time. End of flying boats.

Re:Why? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47552823)

The problem was more than computers. The materials weren't up to snuff. The airframe deformed after just one flight.

Just a theory, but... (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 3 months ago | (#47550283)

But maybe rising sea levels might begin to threaten some of the airstrips close to the water. Planes like this might be used as a temporary measure to deal with the loss of a tiny airport on the beach that worked until now. Some airstrips terminate in the ocean.

Re:Just a theory, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552127)

so the Chinese are planning for 200+ years in the future?

You answered your own question: possible war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550295)

Despite how it is next to the sea, China actually can't get out into the Pacific or Indian oceans without brushing near one of its many neighbors.

It just so happens China has territorial disputes with those neighbors.

You may call China crazy or greedy or paranoid or whatever and is in the wrong, but that doesn't change the geography.

Re:Why? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about 3 months ago | (#47551159)

I, for one, think this could be the basis for a totally awesome RV. Fly anywhere, land, party, fly away.

Re:Why? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 3 months ago | (#47551247)

We got the idea with the Hercules that you could resupply military fleets or save fuel with launch your cargo ship into the air if time became an issue(because of the war). It was misguided, but at least a reason for the amphibious design.

Why are they building giant amphibious cargo planes today? Who has that need?

There are these islands which are kind of contested and which China is trying to assert sovereignty over. They are really small and many won't have room for an airstrip.

I *guess* that being able to quickly resupply these islands from the air would be very handy for China.

Re:Why? (1)

DUdsen (545226) | about 3 months ago | (#47553385)

Mostly the larger amphibious planes still in operation gets used for waterbombing and you need a lot of water for fighting wildfires. with a secondary role as observation planes ie they need to scoop water from forest lakes or oceans. as close to the fire as posible to be able to make a lot of runs quickly. And It is most likely designed for that role and not as a general cargo plane.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47553929)

Modern take on the PBY Catalina [wikipedia.org] .
I'm a bit surprised these things gone out of fashion, except for smaller pontoon retrofits popular with wilderness operators
The romance is back.

Spruce Goose (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47549311)

So a Chinese spy stumbled across the Spruce Goose exhibit and thought, "Wow, total score! This is better than the Stealth!"?

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47549423)

Or, when you're rattling your saber over ownership of a bunch of islands [wikipedia.org] , maybe you figure you need some amphibious capability?

China hasn't exactly been quiet about claiming ownership of stuff lately.

Re:Spruce Goose (3, Informative)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47549623)

Yeah, except this piece of junk is tiny. It is not large at all. The Martin JRM-1 Mars in 1942 was much heavier. It's a squeaking mosquito next to the Hughes H-4 Hercules of 1947. Yes, shut up, I know those are straight flying boats - because sometimes you just have to make up your mind.

Technically, sure, it's the heaviest amphibian in the world. Amphibians as a class are practically dead.

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549693)

...

Technically, sure, it's the heaviest amphibian in the world. Amphibians as a class are practically dead.

I'm a salamander, you insensitive clod!

Caspian Seamonsters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550673)

Where do the Caspian Sea monsters weigh in compared to these? (mainly in cargo capacity)

Re:Caspian Seamonsters? (1)

justfred (63412) | about 3 months ago | (#47551169)

"It was capable of carrying up to 137 tons (270,000 pounds) of troops and equipment—including as many as six nuclear missiles—at speeds up to 350 MPH as far as 1,080 nmi—albeit only 16 feet off the surface of the water."
http://gizmodo.com/this-caspia... [gizmodo.com]

Re:Caspian Seamonsters? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47552507)

That makes it sound a bit underwhelming. The KM Ekranoplan had a takeoff weight of 544 tonnes. Of that, the weight of fuel plus payload which could be lifted was 304 tonnes.

Re:Caspian Seamonsters? (1)

justfred (63412) | about 3 months ago | (#47552653)

"...KM Ekranoplan..." I thought they were the same thing. I only know from the source I cited.

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47551129)

Technically, sure, it's the heaviest amphibian in the world. Amphibians as a class are practically dead.

The fact that the ShinMaywa US-2 is in production and it's predecessor sold reasonably well suggests that there is a market for this kind of aircraft.

Along with Timothy's comment I'm starting to think sour grapes.

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47552447)

Timothy had a moment of going soft in the head. It happens to the best of us. "The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons". Huge, my ass. The A-380 is 592 tonnes. The 747-400ER is 413 tonnes.

Re:Spruce Goose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47553251)

And which of those is amphibious?

Sure, almost any plane can land on the water (see Sully's Airbus A-320), but most are destroyed by the event, and even among those that aren't, the vast majority can't *take off* again without being towed to land, and completely refurbished.

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47552489)

Yeah, except this piece of junk is tiny.

According to the article, it's larger than a Boeing 737. For a seaplane, that's pretty impressive.

The Martin JRM-1 Mars in 1942 was much heavier.

And heavier in an airplane is better...how?

Re:Spruce Goose (1)

hey! (33014) | about 3 months ago | (#47550163)

Different requirements drive different designs. Before WW2 seaplanes were common because of the lack of runways. After WW2 airports proliferated, and seaplanes couldn't keep up with technical advances due to the compromises involved in allowing them to land and take off from water. But that doesn't mean there aren't applications for aircraft with a flying boat's capabilities, it just means there isn't enough of a market in places like the US to support an industry. Even so, here in North America there are some 70 year-old WW2 Catalinas being used in aerial firefighting. China is a vast country which is prone to many kinds of natural disasters that could make airlifting in supplies difficult, so they may see potential applications we don't.

It's also interesting to note that seaplanes were highly useful in the pacific theater of WW2, and there hasn't been a protracted struggle for sea control *since* WW2. Also, China is a country with no operational aircraft carriers; aside from its training ship the Liaoning, it has a handful of amphibious assault ships that can carry a few helicopters. The US by contrast has ten supercarriers and nine amphibious assault ships that dwarf the aircraft carriers of WW2. The technology and expertise to run a carrier fleet like America's would take many years for China to develop. It's conceivable that the manufacturers imagine a military market for aircraft like this in the interim.

Size matters, sure, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549367)

Someone's overcompensating...

The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549441)

The single one ever made made a single flight, ever, attaining an earth shattering 70 feet above sea level.

At least the Chinese plane will rack up a few more takeoffs than just one, and I imagine they plan to fly it higher than 70 feet.

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (2)

Brandano (1192819) | about 3 months ago | (#47549521)

But the Martin Mars ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org] ) made several flights, and was actually flown until a few years ago as a firefighting plane. And I still think it is bigger than this plane. Probably their claim is that it is bigger than its Japanese counterpart, the ShinMaywa US2 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org] )

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (1)

srmalloy (263556) | about 3 months ago | (#47550221)

The maximum takeoff weight of the Martin JRM-3 Mars is reported as 165,000 pounds, -- more than 80 tons, and Wikipedia's article has a photograph of the Hawaii Mars II and Phillippine Mars on their landing gear undergoing maintenance; to my knowledge, the H-4 Hercules was never equipped with landing gear, which excludes it from the 'amphibian' category.

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47550817)

those aren'tlanding gear.
the Mars does not have landing gear.
those are ground wheels temporarily attached to the hull for the purpose of "drydocking".

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47551009)

If you look closely at the Mars maintenance picture you will see a couple of things. First the tread on the wheels under the aircraft are quite aggressive. I have never seen that kind of tread on landing gear. Second the wing pontoons are supported by scaffolding and not wheels. My theory is that the Mars has the facility to attach dollies to the air frame to allow it to be pulled out of the water and those are not landing gear.

I also looked up a number of articles and the Mars is always referred to as a flying boat and not an amphibious aircraft. The final kicker is that BC is retiring it's Martin Mars aircraft and here is a quote from an article explaining the decision [gov.bc.ca] ;

Because of its size, the Martin Mars can only land on and scoop up water from about 113 bodies of water in B.C.

The Martin Mars is not amphibious.

We'll never know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549531)

The Spruce Goose ended development because of the end of the war and the cutback on expenditures. Whether it would have been a reliable and effective aircraft, we'll never know.

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (4, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | about 3 months ago | (#47549569)

The Goose never flew again because the war was over and the government had stopped paying for it. Hughes made the one flight only to prove he had actually built a working airplane and not defrauded the taxpayers with a phony project.

Re:The Spruce Goose is your comparison? (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 3 months ago | (#47550545)

maybe the chief engineer trying get this thing through bureaucracy got fed up and yelled at Politburu (or whoever at top govt), "If I can't get this thing to fly, I will leave China!" They probably then gave him the resources he wanted. Most likely not true but don't ruin a good story with facts.

What to do if you have unlimited money & ambit (2)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 3 months ago | (#47549549)

And are not yet very good at building aircraft carriers and everything that goes with them (suitable aircraft and command and control).

It's not the "next best thing" or even close - there is a good reason why large 'planes such as this were rapidly abandoned (except by the Soviet Union) after WW2. They take up much more of their usable capacity with fuel and equipment , and are extremely vulnerable on both land and sea, (one submerged log or - more likely these days - a lost shipping container) and your transport and its cargo is scrap.

Of course, I'd still want one :)

Re:What to do if you have unlimited money & am (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550307)

Look on the bright side - aircraft carriers are for offence not defence[1].

[1] The US Dept of Defence should more accurately be known as the Department of Offence...

Re:What to do if you have unlimited money & am (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551467)

Yep, it is pretty much about having external military bases without getting some local crackpot to play ball.

Re:What to do if you have unlimited money & am (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552793)

The best de-fense is a good o-fense.

You know who said that? Mel, the cook on Alice.

Re:What to do if you have unlimited money & am (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47551151)

Japan and India use them for search and rescue, their intended role. Carriers are big and slow, not suited to SAR work where you need high capacity long range aircraft that can then collect people and even small boats from the water.

Anyway, in warfare carriers are less useful against enemies with hypersonic missiles. The US doesn't have any yet, but since Russia, India and China do I imagine they expect to face them eventually.

Offtopic: See page 102 for a PBX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549557)

Off-topic but relevant to Slashdot: There's an illustrated guide [google.fi] about telephone exchanges for rotary phones, starting on page 102. Please read it before you complain about bad mobile data speeds.

Captcha: presence – not on my analog telephone service, but we might see it when VoLTE is implemented!

CAIGA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549615)

This goes into the Pajero and LaPuta for spanish speakers.

Largest in production, maybe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549881)

But the Martin Mars, still being used for firefighting, has a max. takeoff weight of 165,000 lb.

Re: Largest in production, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550057)

The Martin Mars is a seaplane, not amphibian.

Hyperbole much? (1)

Stachel (718095) | about 3 months ago | (#47549991)

As I clicked to the fine article I was prepared to see a description of a gigantic airplane, overshadowing a Catalina, perhaps even a Spruce Goose. Yet the actual airplane is a little underwhelming.

TFA reads: "Larger than Boeing's 737 jet, the TA600 aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5t and a maximum range of over 5,000km."

If one defines "larger than" as "having a higher MTOW" then the TA600 is indeed larger than a 737. That is, a 737-200 (1968 vintage). More recent versions are considerably heavier.

The other stats, 8.9m-long, 12.46m-wide and a maximum cruise speed of 231km/h aren't very impressive either.

It looks like a nice plane though, I hope it succeeds and that we'll see it often. There aren't enough amphibious planes around. But it will take a lot to make it more awesome than a Grumman Goose ;)

Re:Hyperbole much? (1)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about 3 months ago | (#47550285)

I think the other stats, 8.9m length, are for the HO300.

Re:Hyperbole much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550603)

"But it will take a lot to make it more awesome than a Grumman Goose ;)"

I think you mean Grumman Albatross.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Hu16-N3HU-071022-13-12.jpg

The Goose is cool; the Albatross is awesome. I guess the TA600 is bigger. But it's also about 50 years later.

None of them matches the "Caspian Sea Monster". So what if its cruising altitude is less than 100 feet.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--Ia5Yfwje--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/195msu6s5gizsjpg.jpg

Re:Hyperbole much? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47550903)

they just left out hte word "operational".
granted, the PBY isn't that large as flying boats go, so that's not a good one to use.
Better would be the: Martin Mars, Short Sunderland, or the Saunders Roa Princess, all of which are FAR larger than this new chinese one.

its got nothing on a Conwing L-16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550067)

Nothing beats a Conwing L-16 ( The Seaduck) /s

Spruce Goose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550281)

So, what is the Chinese term for "it won't fly!"...

Re:Spruce Goose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551117)

Top Secret photos of test flight http://www.vpfunworld.com/wp-c... [vpfunworld.com]

Not so big (3, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | about 3 months ago | (#47550347)

The Martin JRM Mars has more impressive specs ...

General characteristics
o Crew: four (with accommodations for a second relief crew)
o Capacity: 133 troops, or 84 litter patients and 25 attendants
o Payload: 32,000 lb (15,000 kg) of cargo, including up to seven jeeps
o Length: 117 ft 3 in (35.74 m)
o Wingspan: 200 ft 0 in (60.96 m)
o Height: 38 ft 5 in (11.71 m)
o Wing area: 3,686 ft (342.4 mÂ)
o Empty weight: 75,573 lb (34,279 kg)
o Loaded weight: 90,000 lb (40,820 kg)
o Max. takeoff weight: 165,000 lb (74,800 kg)
o Powerplant: 4 x Wright R-3350-24WA Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder radial engines, 2,500 hp (1,900 kW) each

Performance
o Maximum speed: 192 knots (221 mph, 356 km/h)
o Cruise speed: 165 knots (190 mph, 305 km/h)
o Range: 4,300 nautical miles (5,000 mi, 8,000 km)
o Service ceiling: 14,600 ft (4,450 m)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

Still at work.
http://www.martinmars.com/airc... [martinmars.com]

Re:Not so big (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47551043)

Not amphibious [gov.bc.ca]

Because of its size, the Martin Mars can only land on and scoop up water from about 113 bodies of water in B.C.

Was H4 amphibious? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 3 months ago | (#47550741)

I thought the Spruce goose can only take off and "land" on water.

"CAIGA" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550925)

In yet another case of unfortunate naming...
"Caiga" in spanish means "falls" ("to fall", subjunctive, present, 3rd person, singular). As in "let it fall!" ("!que se caiga!").

That last link (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 months ago | (#47551037)

Goes to the full August 1946 issue of Popular Science, including a first-hand account of Able - the first atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. That glimpse into life as a tech geek in 1946 is more interesting than TFA.

Caspian Sea Monster (1)

justfred (63412) | about 3 months ago | (#47551163)

It's no Caspian Sea Monster.

http://gizmodo.com/this-caspia... [gizmodo.com]

"It was capable of carrying up to 137 tons (270,000 pounds) of troops and equipment—including as many as six nuclear missiles—at speeds up to 350 MPH as far as 1,080 nmi—albeit only 16 feet off the surface of the water."

Yes, the MD-160 was neither amphibious (it's water-only) or an airplane (it's an Ekranoplan surface-effect vehicle).

231 km/h ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551343)

Seems a bit on the slow side, for a modern aircraft. Also, it can only transport about 1.6 tons.

Pfff. You want big? You want Texas (or Alaska) (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 3 months ago | (#47551387)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_RC-1

Re:Pfff. You want big? You want Texas (or Alaska) (1)

IP_engineer (612656) | about 3 months ago | (#47554079)

Thats not the biggest - this one was even bigger: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] I got to meet and speak to some of the designers - it was quite practical and they had the economic case study to do this. It would have made lots of money, but McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) did not want to put up the $7 billion it would take.

That's the Spruce Goose! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47551519)

H.H. is yawning in his grave.

Re:That's the Spruce Goose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47555313)

Nah it's Chinese, so it would be the 'Spluce Goose'

Beriev Be-200 is larger and in production (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551861)

The Be-200 is longer at 32m, and currently in production. It is also has a larger useful payload. It is used for firefighting.

Wrong Aircraft (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about 3 months ago | (#47552993)

The picture in the Aerospace-Technology website is wrong. The red rising sun on the tail would have made it obvious, if not for the fact that Wikipedia picture of the ShinMaywa is actually identical http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org] .

BABY SPRUCE GOOSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559481)

Where are the rest of the engines?

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