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Airbus-Backed Air Racing Tournament Unveils First Electric Sports Aircraft

Condor Aviation's White Lightning will use an electric motor that at flight speeds of 482 km per hour on a tight 5 km circuit, just 10 meters above the ground.

Reuters

Updated:November 20, 2019, 5:58 PM IST
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Airbus-Backed Air Racing Tournament Unveils First Electric Sports Aircraft
Condor Aviation’s modified Cassutt aircraft, called White Lightning is the first electric sports aircraft. (Image: Twitter/ Airbus)

An Airbus-backed air racing tournament unveiled an electric-powered sports aircraft, 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 Inc, 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 482 kilometres (300 miles) per hour on a tight 5 kilometre (about 3 miles) circuit, just 10 meters above the ground. "The racing series will provide a testbed 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 aeroplane competition when it launches its inaugural series of international races in 2020. It expects to this week name eight teams for its first race.

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| Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh
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