Airbus-backed tournament unveils first electric racing aircraft

Airbus-backed tournament unveils first electric racing aircraft

Airbus-backed tournament unveils first electric racing aircraft
The aircraft will use an electric motor that will carry it at flight speeds of around 482kmh. (Photo: Twitter/Airbus)

DUBAI: An Airbus-backed air racing tournament unveiled an electric-powered sports aircraft on Sunday (Nov 17), billed as the world's first, as the European planemaker seeks to boost its green aerospace technology.

Several companies, including US ride-hailing company Uber Technologies, are working on electric-powered flying cars, amid increasing concerns about the environmental impact of fossil-fuel intensive air travel.

Last month, Airbus rival Boeing announced a partnership with automaker Volkswagen's sports car brand, Porsche, to develop a concept electric flying vehicle capable of transporting people in urban environments.

Air Race E said the aircraft, called White Lightning and unveiled at the Dubai Air Show, will be manufactured by UK-based Condor Aviation.

The aircraft will use an electric motor that will carry it at flight speeds of around 482kmh on a tight 5km circuit, just 10m above the ground.

"The racing series will provide a test bed for innovation and accelerate the journey towards electric commercial travel," Air Race E Chief Executive Jeff Walkman said.

Lithium batteries installed under the fuselage of the plane will provide power for five minutes of high intensity racing and around 10 minutes of reserve flying at reduced power, the firm said.

Air Race E is aiming to be the world's first all-electric airplane competition when it launches its inaugural series of international races in 2020. It expects to this week name eight teams for its first race.

Source: Reuters

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