Now an Electric Racing Aircraft

In a bid to develop electrical propulsion technology for aviation as well as to reinforce its green credentials and its commitment to green aviation, Airbus Industries is a supporting a one of its kind air race series. The series is called the Air Race E and is an offshoot of the Formula E racing. The rules for the race are based on the rules for Formula 1.

Air Race E is the planned as the world’s first electric air racing series. The Air Race E World Cup is an air racing championship run to Formula 1 rules and adapted for purely electric aircraft. Entrants will design and build electric aircraft to take part in races, flying in groups of 8 around a 5-km oval course marked by ‘pylons’ at speeds in excess of 250 mph. Eight international racing teams — from North America and Europe — will compete in the race series. Air Race E inaugural race is scheduled for late 2020.

One of the first aircraft to be developed to participate in this race is the aircraft of the White Lightning team which is built by Condor Aviation of UK. The aircraft is an electric propelled Cassut aircraft. It has a a pair of contra-rotating propellers at the front which are driven by electric motor. The energy for this motor is stored in Li-ion batteries stored in the belly of the aircraft. This aircraft was first demonstrated at the ongoing Dubai Air Show.

The White lightning weights 375 kg. It has a maximum speed of 482 km/h and its battery has sufficient juice for five minutes of high speed flying for racing purpose, on the other hand, at lower speeds it can remain airborne for 10 more minutes of auxiliary flying.

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