World’s First Fully Electric Airplane Race To Take Place In 2020
How fast did you say that Tesla was? Oh, never mind, we’ve got something even better and its electric as well!
Airbus just announced the first ever electric airplane race that will take place in 2020. They announced a global partnership with the creator of the event – Air Race E, the world’s first electric airplane race. One of the goals of this race is to push the development and adoption of electric engines – a cleaner, more technologically advanced, and faster alternative to the usual aircraft engines. The Air Race E committee hopes that the new generation of electric engines will be applied to all urban aircraft and commercial aircraft as well. Air Race E thinks that even Formula 1 will become electrically powered in the near future.
The race will follow a similar format to the Air Race 1 series. Eight airplanes with electric-powered engines will race a 5-km distance against each other, flying 10 meters above the ground with a speed faster that any land-based vehicle.
“We want to motivate manufacturers to showcase their technologies across the full spectrum of electric propulsion systems and components,” said Chief Technology Officer of Airbus, Grazia Vittadini. “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,” said Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race E.
The first prototype of an electric plane is currently being developed by the University of Nottingham. They partnered with Air Race E as well and promise to deliver the first prototype by the end of 2019. It’s going to be powered by an integrated electric motor, power electronics system, and a battery. First tests of the plane are expected to help shape the rules for the upcoming race.
Technologies develop so fast nowadays. Just think about the fact that one day you’ll be looking at Norfolk Aviation inventory, thinking what airplane is better for your needs – that time-tested Piper or a sleek new plane with an electric-powered engine? Well, we’re not there yet, but you can go ahead and check that inventory out! There are many great planes that just can’t wait to get you up in the air at their top speeds.