With an ultimate motive of reducing the fossil fuel usage where ever possible, Electric planes sector is one area where many nations are encouraging their scientists.
So, since 1973, when the first man-carrying electric plane was made, many experimental planes have flown the sky including the recent EADS E-Fan and NASA’s distributed propulsion plane. GreenWing eSpyder is one such plane which even entered the commercial market (though with a top speed of 110 kph). But now, China has bagged the credit of making the world’s first electric passenger plane that received an airworthiness certificate.
As China’s official media reported, the electric plane, RX1E Ruixiang, designed by Shenyang Aerospace University and Liaoning general aviation academy in the northeastern Liaoning Province, received its airworthiness certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
RX1E, which is made up of carbon fibre composite material, takes one and half hours to charge and gives 40 mins of flight time. With a 14.5 m wingspan, a maximum cruising speed of 150 kph and a maximum take-off weight of 500 kg, RX1E can fly at an altitude of 3000 m.
The plane costs 980,000 yuan (USD 156,700) with a flight cost of less than 20 yuan per hour and has received 28 orders so far. It can be used for pilot training, tourism, meteorology and rescue operations. Already, the first two airplanes were delivered to Liaoning Ruixiang General Aviation Co., which will use them for flight training.
The plane was an attraction at the Shenyang Faku International Flight Convention, last year.