Air Race E and the Nordic Air Racing Team continue to make good progress towards the first-ever electric race plane flight, with ground testing of the cutting-edge machinery taking place last week.
The Norwegian squad rolled their prototype – a specifically converted Cassutt IIIM formula race plane – out of the hanger at Tønsberg Airport and performed a number of procedural exercises in a milestone moment for the team and the championship.
With Rein Inge Hoff in the cockpit, the Nordic Air Racing Team aircraft proceeded to taxi the length of the runway and reach speeds of around 60mph in the successful test.
Tomas Brødreskift, Nordic Air Racing Team Principal, said “It was awesome to finally see the racer move by its own power!
“We gradually increased the speed up to 50-60kts, and are satisfied with the feel of the aircraft and powertrain.”
The ground testing was the latest step on the pathway to achieving electric flight in the race plane, with the excursion satisfying operational requirements before the plane can get off the ground later this year.
Hoff will be behind the controls once again when the historic flight takes place, with the aerobatic pilot boasting experience flying a host of different aircraft throughout his extensive career – including a F-51D Mustang and the Supermarine Mk XVI Spitfire – while he also has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering.
The Nordic Air Racing Team are one of several squads committed to competing in the Open Class during the inaugural Air Race E season, where aviators will fly all-electric single-seater aircraft directly against each other just meters above the ground.
With machinery built specifically for racing, speeds of 400 km/h (250 mph) are expected around tight circuits which stretch just 1.5km end-to-end – promising truly breathtaking action.
Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race E, said: “It was fantastic to see the Nordic Air Racing Team complete what is undoubtedly a huge milestone in the development process of Air Race E.
“The aircraft looked fantastic out on the runway, and now I am more excited than ever to see it take to the skies!”