Electric Airplane for New Air Racing Series Unveiled
by James Wynbrandt
- November 17, 2019, 1:14 AM
Air Race E
Air Race E founder and CEO Jeff Zaltman revealed the electric air
racer, supported by Sandra Bour Schaeffer and Martyn Wiseman, head of
Air Race E, the world’s first electric air racing series, unveiled at
the Dubai Airshow a prototype of the electric-powered aircraft set to
be flown in the league’s inaugural race, scheduled for late 2020. A
highly modified Cassutt formula one racer, the aircraft features Contra-Electric’s twin motor contra-rotating propeller powertrain,
providing continuous electric power.
The showing marks “the first time we have let anyone outside of our
teams and partners under the hood of a race airplane to showcase some
of the cutting-edge electric technology that will be in use during the
series,” said Air Race E CEO and founder Jeff Zaltman.
The races, supported by founding partner Airbus (Stand 940; Pavilion
P10), will comprise a series of head-to-head international contests,
with eight airplanes flying simultaneously on a 5-km circuit at
heights as low as 10 meters (33 feet) and speeds up to 450 mph.
Like motorsports, “It does have an inherent danger to it, so our top
priority at all times is safety,” said Zaltman.
A tender for the first host city is underway, with the winning
location to be named by December, according to organizers.
“Electrification is the enabler to decarbonize our industry,” said
Sandra Bour Schaeffer, head of Airbus Group Demonstrators. The company
believes that “Nurturing these race aircraft will help build up an
ecosystem” to bring wider adoption of electrification in aviation, she
Eight international racing teams, with strong representation from
North America and Europe, will compete in the race series; the
electric race aircraft on display was built by the UK’s Condor
Aviation, one of the teams.
The UK-based Light Aircraft Association is supporting development of
the sport’s technical regulations as well as aircraft design
oversight, and the league expects to receive sanctioning by the
Formula Air Racing Association and French counterpart, the Association
des Pilotes D’Avions de Formules, “soon.”