China’s first aircraft independently developed by a private company, the Guanyi GA20, flew at a height of 3,000 meters for the first time during its 50th test flight on Wednesday, and secured intent orders for 100 aircraft.
The GA20 is a four-seater, general-purpose, single propeller-driven aircraft developed by Guanyi General Aviation, a private company in Shanghai. It is produced at an industrial base in the Nanchang High-tech Zone, Jiangxi province.
On Wednesday, pilot Christian Briand boarded the plane at 12:00 pm and flew it into the sky at 12:03 pm at the Hengdian General Airport in Zhejiang province. The 39-minute flight aimed to test flight envelope extension and load factor.
The test showed that the GA20 has the shortest takeoff distance of 400 meters and a landing distance of 350 meters, with a maximum mileage of 1,200 kilometers and a maximum speed of 265 kilometers per hour.
The GA20 can climb up 5 meters per second, and at the height of 2,600 meters, its fuel consumption is 32 liters per hour. Its general performance is better than all the global competitors.
Zhu Songhua, the chairman of Guanyi, said the plane reached a height of 3,000 meters safely showed its excellent performance and it will open up a path for China’s independently developed general aircraft to go global.
Wutong Aviation Sci-Tech Co, a leading private aircraft service company in China, signed the underwriting agreement with Guanyi on Wednesday order of intent for 100 planes.
Zhao Haiyang, general manager of Wutong Aviation, said the GA20 has first-class performance and advanced self-owned core technologies in the world, and thus the company is confident of its sales in the global market.
Guanyi began to develop the GA20 for multiple purposes such as aviation training, private aviation, and tourism in 2014. The plane made its debut in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, on May 21, 2018.
With an overall length of 8.1 meters and a wingspan of 9.4 meters, the plane is powered by a Lycoming O-320 engine and equipped with a Garmin aviation system.
On Sept 19, the plane made a 26-minute maiden flight at an airport in Nanchang, and ascended to a height of about 300 meters, made a number of routine tests, before landing smoothly.
This is the 50th test flight for the GA20, and the first time it has reached the 3,000 meter mark, a milestone in the maturity testing of the aircraft.
The GA20 has a maximum range of 1,200 kilometers and can reach 265 kilometers an hour.
The good performance of the GA20 raises confidence in high tech and intelligent products made in China, said Zhu Songhua, the chairman of the Shanghai-based Guanyi General Aviation. He added that he hopes planes made in China demonstrate to the world China’s strengths in core technology.
An order for 100 planes was made to Guanyi General Aviation by China’s private flight platform, Wutong Airlines, on the day of the latest test flight.
On March 11, GA20 completed its first public test flight at Hengdian General Airport in Zhejiang.
Guanyi will complete 200-300 test flights in accordance with Civil Aviation Administration of China requirements and plans to start the plane’s industrialization process, after obtaining certification, around 2020.