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RX1E is World’s First Certified Electric LSA

Zhao-lijie demonstrates the quick-change battery configuration of the certified RX1E battery-powered LSA.

By Randy Dufault

  • Zhao-lijie demonstrates the quick-change battery configuration of the certified RX1E battery-powered LSA.
    Zhao-lijie demonstrates the quick-change battery configuration of the certified RX1E battery-powered LSA.

July 25, 2015 - While the U.S. continues to work through the details of how to certify electrically powered light sport-aircraft, other parts of the world already embrace it.

Electric power systems are part of the ASTM LSA standard. That fact allowed Chinese aircraft manufacturer Liaoning General Aircraft Manufacturing Company to certify its RX1E two-seat, composite structure LSA in their home country.

Designed by the manufacturer’s companion aviation academy, the RX1E was intended for electric propulsion from the beginning. Power for its 50-kw (approximately 67 hp) motor comes from a 12 kilowatt-hour battery set. Flight duration is approximately one hour on a fully charged battery, making the plane a good option for zero-emission primary flight training. Two of the craft are reportedly already serving in that role.

Charging the battery can take up to two-and-a-half hours, but a rapid-change system allows an operator to maintain more than one battery set and charge the battery outside of the airplane.

The company is experimenting with fuel cell power as part of its UAS program in addition to the battery configuration powering the LSA.

An RX1E is on display here at AirVenture 2015, but the company has not yet secured the necessary permissions to fly it in the U.S.

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