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PHOTO CAPTION: Rui Xiang RX1E takes off during flight tests in Liaoning province.

China's First E-Plane Certified

In the race to develop a certified electric flight trainer, it appears China may just have gotten off the ground first.

Published: 10-Feb-2015

China's Civil Aviation Administration this month awarded the nation's first all-electric flight trainer, the Rui Xiang RX1E , an airworthiness certificate.

The two-seat, trcycle-gear, carbon-fiber trainer was developed by Shenyang Aerospace University in Liaoning province. Powered by lithium batteries, the high-wing aircraft reportedly has a maximum takeoff weight of 480 kg (1,058 lbs). The propeller is wood with a fixed-pitch. Maximum cruise speed is 160 km/hr (86 kts/99 mph). The operating ceiling is 3,000 meters (9840 ft) and flight endurance on a full-charged battery pack is around 90 minutes, which could give it a range upwards of 230 km. Recharge time is said to be about 90 minutes. Battery pack size and motor kilowatt ratings isn't publicly known at this time.

Plans are to initially produce about 100 units annually with an anticipated market of upwards of 1,000 aircraft within China.

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