PHOTO CAPTION: RX1E test flight demonstrated 2 hour endurance on single battery charge.

China Test Flies Improved Electric Airplane

Flight time of RX1E improved from 45 minutes to 120 minutes (2 hours), opening up wider utilization possibilities from aerial photography to tourism and extended flight training.

Published: 13-Nov-2017

China not only seems determined to dominate the production of electric cars, but it's also a serious contender to do the same with electric-powered aircraft as the recent successful test flight of the improved RX1E proved. Begun in 2012 as a engineering exercise at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the team, lead by Yang Fengtian, who is also the president of Shenyang Aerospace University, the first generation of the high-wing two-seater rolled out in 2014. It immediately wrote 128 orders.

Now in 2017, an improved model with integrated ballistic parachute for safety, successfully completed a test flight demonstrating a full battery endurance of up to 120 minutes and an operating altimate of 3000 meters (9,842 ft). According to China Daily:

With a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kilograms and a cruise speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour, the RX1E-A can fly 120 minutes, starting with fully charged batteries. It can fly at an altitude of nearly 3,000 meters, the academy said.

The institute estimates the cost of fully charge the planes battery at 10 yuan ($1.51US). Now that cheap (and clean) flying in any pilots logbook. Below is video of the recent test flight.


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