The domestic electric plane AG60E completes its maiden flight successfully.

Successful Inaugural Flight for China’s AG60E Electric Aircraft

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) recently announced the successful maiden flight of its domestically developed AG60E electric aircraft, designed and manufactured by Tong Fei. The AG60E is a light sport aircraft with a single-engined high-wing, side-by-side two-seater, and an all-metal structure. It is primarily designed for aviation clubs, general aviation companies, and private users, for flight experience, basic flight training, and private recreational flying.

The AG60E electric aircraft (Image courtesy of AVIC)

According to available information, the plane has a length of 6.9 meters, a height of 2.6 meters, and a wingspan of 8.6 meters. With a maximum take-off weight of 600 kilograms, it can reach a maximum cruise speed of 185 kilometers per hour and a maximum flat flight speed of 220 kilometers per hour.

Officials from Ton Fei explained that they utilized mature general aviation equipment platforms and carried out electrification modifications to the certified aircraft to validate key electric aircraft technologies. Since the project’s inception in August 2022, the development team has conducted extensive work, including the selection of electric motors, electronic control, power batteries, integration tests of electric propulsion systems, safety studies of electric aircraft, and airworthiness compliance design techniques. They successfully completed the electrification modification of the AG60 light sport aircraft, breaking through key technologies such as the design and system integration of pure electric power devices.

The converted AG60E electric aircraft’s power system has a nominal output power equivalent to the prototype, with all performance indicators meeting or surpassing the prototype levels, except for flight range and duration. The electric aircraft’s torque output is more linear, with faster acceleration response, enhancing the aircraft’s takeoff performance. Unlike traditional fuel engine aircraft, where power output drops with increasing altitude, electric motors are not significantly affected by such factors, providing continuous climbing power and reducing climbing time. Additionally, the electric motor is less noisy, providing a more environmental and comfortable flight experience. Its simpler structure enables easy maintenance and reduces user costs.

A highly adaptable model, the AG60E can operate on grassy, hardened soil runways and other non-paved surfaces. This inaugural flight of the AG60E technology demonstrator has amassed invaluable experience for the development of electric aircraft products and electrification modifications of existing fixed-wing aircraft. (Reporter: Hu Zhe)

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