Work begins on first electric racing aeroplane

Posted on 27 Nov 2018 and read 711 times
Work begins on first electric racing aeroplaneDevelopment of the first electric racing aeroplane has taken a major leap forward thanks to a new partnership between the University of Nottingham and Air Race E.

A new integrated ‘plug and play’ electric motor, battery and power electronics system will be designed and then fitted into an existing petrol-powered Air Race 1 aeroplane in workshops at the university.

This prototype will help to shape the rules for Air Race E, which is set to hold its first race in 2020, with electric aeroplanes racing against each other on a very tight circuit just above the ground at speeds faster than any land-based motor-sport.

The university is investing £13 million in the Beacons of Excellence programme, which aims to champion field-leading responses to global challenges, including sustainable travel.

Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race E (, said: “This is a ground-breaking partnership with the University of Nottingham that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the electric aviation industry.

“Since the announcement of the Air Race E series, we have been overwhelmed by the response of innovators and leaders within the aviation sector. We are delighted to be working with the pioneering University of Nottingham Beacon programme to help drive change within the industry.”

Richard Glassock, the project leader at the University of Nottingham, said: “Air Race E is set on making the electric aviation industry move faster, and we are very excited to be working alongside them to make it happen.

Future transport platforms will require electrical machines plus power conversion and transmission solutions that can deliver a step-change in power density, efficiency and reliability.

"Through strategic investment in facilities, talent and research programmes, plus collaboration with academic and industrial partners, the University of Nottingham is at the forefront of this exciting revolution in aerospace, marine and automotive transport.”

The demand for speed, performance and power management in a competitive racing environment provides the perfect conditions for the development and promotion of cleaner, faster and more technologically advanced electric motors.

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