Thor Air Racing – Norway
The team at Thor have been involved with developing electric drive trains and doing novel aircraft design since 2012, and are in a great position to further develop these products in a venue that solely focuses on speed for a short while in a very safe highly controlled environment.
Race Pilot - 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.
Technical Manager – Tomas Brødreskift – 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.
Team Leader - Øystein Solheim-Aune
Electronics and Automation Project Engineer / Manager, Several years of experience building, maintaining and restoring experimental aircraft, Private Pilot
Long time Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 573 Norway” board member
How is the plane progressing?
Team Thor are aiming to convert a Cassut IIIM from piston engine to all-electric powertrain. On the powertrain side they have made a plan and developed a rudimentary idea of assembly in CAD, and started to establish a list of components needed to do the job.
They are focused on the propulsion system and are aiming to use the cooling system to provide thrust, it is neither exciting to behold or particularly new, it has been done with great success in many WW2 aircraft, but if you get that to work well it might be the extra knots needed to win a race. If time and money allows a dig into more modifications before the first race, the canopy along with smaller things like fairings and wheel pants would be nice features to make improvements on. as we progress through the project many smaller details will in the end result in a good racing plane.
What are you most looking forward to about Air Race E?
We look forward to being part of an international race series where we push the limits and thus develop electric powertrain technology.
How does the battery system work on your plane?
We aim to use state of the art formula-E type proven 18650 cells stacked in an ideal fashion to provide ample cooling. Our previous experience with this cell has shown promising qualities under high load at longer periods. So basically we want to utilize technologies that exist and that we know have high likelihood of working under the strains of racing. This coupled with a good cooling, BMS and surveillance system needs to be implemented to make it safe and functional.
What is the stand out feature of your plane?
We are retrofitting an existing racer with a new electric propulsion system. We will push the limits of the all-electric powertrain and in the process we will test and develop the next generation propulsion system. The plane will be built for a single-mission: to fly fast in a race track. The plane originally was run on 120BHP at high speeds – considering the electric motor will provide up to 150kW with 98% efficiency, we can only imagine what a rocket this will be! It surely will be a sight to see.
What will it mean to fly in front of the fans at the first Air Race E race?
It will be a thrilling experience to fly in front of the crowds and showcase the technology of the future. We will fly at speeds that are very impressive considering that the aircraft will be powered by an all-electric engine.
How big do you think Air Race E will be in the future?
We think the Air Race E series will be the best international arena for developing electric powertrains for aircraft. Through international collaboration, technology will be developed that will be used in future commercial aircraft. We think Air Race E will be a truly international and exciting race series where several teams will be competing against each other.