The University of Nottingham and Air Race E have announced a partnership to develop what they believe to be the world’s first electric racing airplane.
Air Race E, which is set to run its inaugural race in 2020, will see electric airplanes racing directly against each other on a tight circuit just above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport. Formula Air Race planes are the only airplanes in the world designed specifically for racing and built to a specific race formula.
The university will design a new integrated plug-and-play electric motor, battery and power electronics system, and will retrofit it to an existing gasoline-powered Air Race 1 plane. The prototype race plane will help shape the model and rules for Air Race E.
The format of Air Race E will be similar to that of the sport known as Formula One pylon air racing – eight airplanes race directly against each other at speeds of over 400 km/h around a tight circuit that measures just 1.5 km from end to end.
“Air Race E is set on making the electric aviation industry move faster,” said University of Nottingham project lead Richard Glassock. “Future transport platforms will require electrical machines and power conversion and transmission solutions which can deliver a step change in power density, efficiency and reliability.”
“Since the announcement of the Air Race E series we have been overwhelmed by the response of innovators and leaders within the aviation sector,” said Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race Events.
Source: University of Nottingham