By The Nation
The competition aims to drive the development and adoption of cleaner, faster, and more technologically advanced electric engines that can be applied to urban air mobility vehicles and, eventually, commercial aircraft.
Air Race E will follow a format similar to the Air Race 1 series of the sport known as formula one air racing. Eight electric-powered aeroplanes will race directly against each other on a tight 5km circuit, 10 metres above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport.
“We want to motivate manufacturers to showcase their technologies across the full spectrum of electric propulsion systems and components.” said Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer at Airbus. “This partnership enables us to demonstrate our commitment to staying at the leading edge of electric propulsion and developing a new ecosystem.”
Air Race E CEO Jeff Zaltman said: “We couldn’t be happier or more optimistic for success with Airbus as our official founding partner. This partnership is a significant milestone in the evolution of electric power in aviation. Together, we’re working to create a mainstream platform in which innovation in electric propulsion can be developed, nurtured and accelerated more rapidly.”
Airbus will work alongside other Air Race E partners, including the University of Nottingham. The university is currently developing a prototype race aeroplane powered by an integrated electric motor, battery and power electronics system. The plane will help shape the model and rules for the inaugural Air Race E race in 2020.