Construction by state aircraft maker AVIC started a little over a year ago at Zhuhai, Guangdong province in China. The plane has a size comparable to a Boeing 737, maximum range of a little over 4500 km (2,800 miles), and a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes.
Its main mission profile seems to be marine rescue and firefighting. The size is instrumental in supporting a search and rescue operation of up to 50 passengers . For firefighting, it can collect 12 tonnes of water in as fast as 20 seconds.
Local media reports China is not restricting the plane to domestic use, and is in talks with island nations such as Malaysia and New Zealand who wish to purchase the record-breaking plane.