2019 got off to a flying start as we announced our partnership with Airbus as our Official Founding Partner, to help us create the world’s first EVER electric airplane race.
The partnership was 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 and nurtured. Airbus will work alongside us to support those efforts and demonstrate their commitment to staying at the leading edge of electric propulsion and developing a new ecosystem.
To drive development and adoption of cleaner, faster, and more technologically advanced electric engines that can be applied to urban air mobility vehicles and, eventually, commercial aircraft.
April then saw Air Race E turn the ripe old age of one, and we celebrated by attending and exhibiting at the AERO Friedrichshafen, an annual global aviation conference which hosted 757 companies from around 40 different countries, and Europe’s largest trade fair for general aviation. We used the event as a platform for several exciting announcements for Air Race E: The release of the official race rules (click here to view the rules) and an online forum designed to connect industry professionals, pilots, manufacturers and suppliers with the view to formulate teams to take part in the inaugural racing series that starts in 2021 with its first racing test event by the end of this year, 2020.
In May, applications opened for cities interested in hosting an Air Race E event. As our CEO and Founder Jeff Zaltman said: “It’s an extraordinary opportunity for a city to be at the leading edge of the electric revolution in aviation and demonstrate its public commitment to cutting carbon emissions from air travel”
May, also, sadly saw the end of Red Bull Air Race, leaving Air Race E and its predecessor, Air Race 1, as the only international air racing series in existence.
In June, we conducted a fascinating interview with General Manager of Electrification at Airbus, Glenn Llewellyn, which you can read here.
The first four teams of the inaugural Air Race E were also released this month, at the Paris Airshow, including our first ever female pilot – Casey Erickson from Team “AllWays Air Racing” from California and other teams from the UK, Netherlands and USA.
The tail-end of 2019 ended at the Dubai Airshow as we revealed the world’s first electric race plane, belonging to Team Condor from North Yorkshire in the UK.
The custom Cassutt racer named White Lightning was once a regular on the formula one racing circuit in Europe throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Team Condor leader Martyn Wiseman and his crew spent months converting White Lightning into a fully-electric racing machine by utilising a Contra Electric twin motor and contra-rotating propeller powertrain.
We also announced the half of the line-up to contest the first Air Race E event this year, with a truly global race field from the USA, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Canada.
Check out the team line-up so far here: https://airracee.com/profiles/
The biggest and busiest year for Air Race E has now kicked off! It’s not long now before you’ll find out the host city of the first test event to be held later this year. The first test flights will then be carried out, a moment in history with the first ever electric race plane taking to the air. The first is expected to be around Spring and continuing throughout the year with all eight teams testing their aircraft leading into competition. But if that isn’t enough of your Air Race E fix, then you can catch us at events throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram. Follow us here.
Finally, in 2021 we will also be looking to add new partners to work with on the series. If you are interested in being involved, please get in touch.