The world’s largest amphibious aircraft, China’s AG600, took its maiden flight on Sunday from Zhuhai airport in southern province of Guangdong on the shores of the South China Sea, Reuters reported.

The plane, roughly the size of Boeing 737 and with four turboprop engines, returned after an hour, and was greeted by crowd cheers and military music.

“Its successful maiden flight makes China among the world’s few countries capable of developing a large amphibious aircraft,” Huang Lingcai, chief designer of AG600, told state media Xinhua.

The AG600 has been in development for the last eight years and has received 17 orders so far from Chinese government departments and Chinese companies, BBC reported. The aircraft, codenamed Kunlong, can carry 50 people and can be used for firefighting and marine rescue duties, besides military applications.