China has a second two-seat electric airplane, the Rui Xiang RX1E, a high-wing, side-by-side craft similar to Yuneec’s E430. Both are cantilever, high-winged configurations, with the Yuneec sporting a V-tail and the RX1E a T-tail. Besides the difference in alphabetical empennages, perhaps something gets lost in translation, with several news items offering slightly different versions of this story.
The English language version of the China News Service calls the RX1E China’s first electric aircraft, although it’s being introduced at least four years after the E430. Most reports agree that it is designed by the Liaoning General Aviation Institute and that Shenyang Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Under the Rui Xiang General name is responsible for manufacturing.
Made of carbon fiber composite material, the RX1E uses a 10 kilowatt-hour lithium battery, enough for a 40-minute flight. Charging takes one-and-a-half hours and restores enough energy to make a 40-minute flight – all for about 5 yuan (80 cents).
China News Service reports, “The RX1E is suitable for industrial and agricultural use, entertainment and teaching purposes. It is also suitable for high precision aerial surveying due to its low level of vibration.”
Another source foresees tens of thousands of clean general aviation aircraft, with benefits from reduced costs compared to oil-based fuel consumption, and lowered carbon dioxide emissions.
Xinhua News Agency reports a maximum cruising speed of up to 150 kilometers per hours (93 mph), and the ability to climb to 3,000 meters (10,800 feet) at a maximum takeoff weight of 480 kilograms (1,056 pounds). The plane has a takeoff distance of 290 meters (930 feet), and a landing distance (probably over a barrier) of 560 meters (1,792 feet). Power comes from a 30 kW (40 hp) Sineton A37k154 electric motor, according to Dan Johnson’s site. This is different from Yuneec’s approach that uses a company-produced powerplant.
Flown at the 20th opening of the second session of the Shenyang Faku Flight International Conference, RX1E reportedly performed “all sorts of difficult moves” and won a “burst of applause” from the audience.