The team have developed electric powertrains and novel aircraft design since 2012 and are in a good position to further develop the next generation propulsion system. Based in Norway, they are now ready for the challenges in developing, flight testing and racing a very fast all-electric racing aircraft.
Øystein Solheim-Aune – Team Leader: Electronics and Automation Project Engineer / Manager, Several years of experience building, maintaining and restoring experimental aircraft, Private Pilot and long time Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 573 Norway” board member
Rein Inge Hoff – Pilot & Aerospace Engineering PhD. Experienced airshow pilot, currently displaying the P-51 Mustang and Spitfire Mk XVI in Scandinavia. Have flown as a formation and aerobatic instructor since 2000. Flight Experience is a total of 5300 hours and has flown 60 different types of aircraft.
Tomas Brødreskift – Technical Manager: Industrial design education, CEO and designer at Equator Aircraft AS, has been deeply involved with aircraft design, composite construction and electric drive trains the last 11 years. Have been a private pilot since 2002.
How is the plane progressing, and what is the development timeline?
We are converting a well-known racing aircraft, the Cassutt IIIM, from piston engine to a safe, reliable and very efficient all-electric powertrain. We have finished the powertrain CAD engineering work and have started to install the components in the aircraft.
Ansys software, one of the Air Race E main sponsors, is used to simulate the air-cooling system in the powertrain in order to increase effectiveness of this very important system.
We have developed a novel fire protection system, composed of a specific mix of lightweight materials that will protect the aircraft and pilot in case of battery fire. An important milestone already passed was the successful fire test of this novel fire protection “wall”.
The next important milestones are ground and flight testing which is scheduled for this summer (2021).
What is the powertrain concept for the plane?
The powertrain consists of an Emrax electric engine, battery pack and ground adjustable propeller. The electric engine has a target peak output of 170 kW, with a continuous planned output in the range of 80-100 kW. The battery pack is made of preassembled Li-ion cylindrical-cell modules. Their individual voltage and temperature are closely monitored by a state-of-the-art commercial-off-the-shelf Battery Management System.
Battery capacity is approx. 18 kW.h which should be sufficient for racing. The very important cooling and fire protection system, and the engine- and battery-mounts are all designed and built in-house.
What is the stand out feature of your plane?
We believe it will be the unique all-electric propulsion system. We will leverage the unique design of the electric engine enabling a very efficient light-weight racing aircraft. The design enables a very slim forward fuselage design that will reduce drag. The power train will utilise several new technologies, such as ultra-light motor, battery pack modules and an efficient propeller.
We can only imagine what a rocket this will be! It surely will be a sight to see.
Why should other air racing teams join Air Race E?
We do believe that air racing will be the best arena for developing new technology for all-electric aircraft. It will for sure be a very exciting air race series that will get a lot of attention in the world of aviation. It will be a thrilling experience to fly in front of the crowds and showcase the technology of the future. We strongly encourage other air racing teams to join this sport and push the speeds further up using novel all-electric powertrains.