China Delivers First Electric Airplanes

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Two RX1E light sport aircraft, the first electric-powered airplanes to be manufactured in China, were handed off to a customer in a ceremony in Shenyang, China, last week. "The RX1E indicates a milestone in our general aviation," said Yang Feng, president of Shenyang Aerospace University, where the design was developed. "We will dedicate ourselves to further scientific research and development in the future," he added. The company had announced late last year that it would start production of the design. The two airplanes were delivered to Liaoning Ruixiang General Aviation Co., which will use them for flight training.

In April, Guiwen Kang, of the Liaoning General Aviation Academy, told AVweb the company had 28 orders for the airplane, which has a flight duration of about an hour. Cruising speed is about 86 knots, and it sells for about $163,000. Kang also said the company planned to ship one of the aircraft to Oshkosh to fly at EAA AirVenture next month. It's not the first electric-powered airplane in production -- Pipistrel has been producing the Taurus Electro G2 since 2012, and the Lange Flugszeugbau Antares 20E has been in production since 2004.