Airbus teams with Air Race E to create world's first electric airplane race series
NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom - Airbus has announced a global partnership with Air Race E, the world’s first electric airplane race set to launch its inaugural series in 2020. Airbus said that by participating in the new series, it would help drive innovation in the electric engine sector, which could then be adopted by urban air mobility vehicles and commerical aircraft.
Air Race E will follow a format similar to the existing Air Race 1 series of the sport known as "formula one air racing." Eight electric-powered airplanes will race directly against each other on a tight 5-km (3.2 mile) circuit, just 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground.
“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 of Airbus. “This partnership enables us to demonstrate our commitment to staying at the leading edge of electric propulsion and developing a new ecosystem.”
“We couldn’t be happier or more optimistic for success with Airbus as our Official Founding Partner," said Air Race E CEO Jeff Zaltman. "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 airplane 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.