How Air Race E Can Revolutionize Electric Aviation Technology

How Air Race E Can Revolutionize Electric Aviation Technology

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Air Race E plane

Air Race E aims to develop electric technology

Air Race E

Air Race E has the potential to revolutionize air travel, according to the founder and CEO of the new sports series.

Jeff Zaltman, also the brains behind its predecessor Air Race One, is planning on launching the first electric air racing competition as a three-part series in 2021.

Having grown Air Race One to an international spectacle attracting up to 100,000 spectators, Zaltman now wants his new venture to spark a radical change in approach to green energy.

Zaltman says: “We want to do something that transcends sports, which was bigger and more meaningful.

“We wanted to be able to engage the aerospace community in particular and we realised by having this mission of trying to generate clean technology for clean transportation is a really powerful thing to do.

“Racing has always been a test-bed for future technologies and that is so exciting for us, it is something airbus has echoed.”

The races involve eight planes flying simultaneously around a tight 5 km circuit marked with pylons, at just 10 metres above the ground and at speeds of up to 450 kph.

Zaltman was keen to ensure that the chosen teams had motivation to push themselves not only on the course but also in development.

To date, the competition has had more than 200 enquiries from interested parties, and the past six months has seen Zaltman and his team try and match suitable pilots, technicians, engineers and designers together.

Potential competitors range from professional pilots to student groups, university research teams and participants in other sports.

Zaltman is also keen to ensure that financial burdens do not prevent any teams from entering. To that end, he is still searching for further funding to help bring his vision to life.

He adds: “We are bringing those parties together in each of these cases and affect the best deal so they bring what they have got at no charge.

“Everyone just puts their bit in and we have to ensure they get that much and more out depending on what they want to achieve.”

The project has had some early success, with aerospace giant Airbus signing on as official founding partner.

Zaltman will also be attending the Dubai Airshow in November where he will be displaying a prototype electric race airplane “White Lightning” in association with Airbus.

Should it prove successful, Air Race E could help rapidly advance electric aerospace technology over the next decade.

Zaltman says: “Now is really the time is to be taking this sport really into the future and take it forward into the next generation of aviation and convert it to electric. Let’s do electric racing.

“Thirty years from now when you are flying a meaningful distance in an electric airplane, you can trace that technology back to Air Racing E.

“We want to accelerate that, rather than having it 50 years from now, let’s have it 20 years instead. All the stakeholders are really buying into this vision.”

Zaltman is happy to draw upon the success of Formula E as inspiration, with the electric car series drawing on its ties to Formula 1 to establish itself as a serious sport in its own right.

Zaltman says: “Formula E is hugely successful now and much more popular and well known. Within five years it achieved valuation of $840 million. We are following exactly the same business model of Formula E.

“We are not reinventing it we are just applying it to an entirely new sport, we are migrating it to a new realm and we expect it to follow a similar trajectory.

We have grand ambitions to make this a mainstream motorsport.”

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Air Race E plane

Air Race E aims to develop electric technology

Air Race E

Air Race E has the potential to revolutionize air travel, according to the founder and CEO of the new sports series.

Jeff Zaltman, also the brains behind its predecessor Air Race One, is planning on launching the first electric air racing competition as a three-part series in 2021.

Having grown Air Race One to an international spectacle attracting up to 100,000 spectators, Zaltman now wants his new venture to spark a radical change in approach to green energy.

Zaltman says: “We want to do something that transcends sports, which was bigger and more meaningful.

“We wanted to be able to engage the aerospace community in particular and we realised by having this mission of trying to generate clean technology for clean transportation is a really powerful thing to do.

“Racing has always been a test-bed for future technologies and that is so exciting for us, it is something airbus has echoed.”

Air Race E course

A standard Air Race E course

Air Race E

The races involve eight planes flying simultaneously around a tight 5 km circuit marked with pylons, at just 10 metres above the ground and at speeds of up to 450 kph.

Zaltman was keen to ensure that the chosen teams had motivation to push themselves not only on the course but also in development.

To date, the competition has had more than 200 enquiries from interested parties, and the past six months has seen Zaltman and his team try and match suitable pilots, technicians, engineers and designers together.

Potential competitors range from professional pilots to student groups, university research teams and participants in other sports.

Zaltman is also keen to ensure that financial burdens do not prevent any teams from entering. To that end, he is still searching for further funding to help bring his vision to life.

He adds: “We are bringing those parties together in each of these cases and affect the best deal so they bring what they have got at no charge.

“Everyone just puts their bit in and we have to ensure they get that much and more out depending on what they want to achieve.”

Spectators at Air Race One event

Air Race One events have attracted upwards of 100,000 spectators

Air Race E

The project has had some early success, with aerospace giant Airbus signing on as official founding partner.

Zaltman will also be attending the Dubai Airshow in November where he will be displaying a prototype electric race airplane “White Lightning” in association with Airbus.

Should it prove successful, Air Race E could help rapidly advance electric aerospace technology over the next decade.

Zaltman says: “Now is really the time is to be taking this sport really into the future and take it forward into the next generation of aviation and convert it to electric. Let’s do electric racing.

“Thirty years from now when you are flying a meaningful distance in an electric airplane, you can trace that technology back to Air Racing E.

“We want to accelerate that, rather than having it 50 years from now, let’s have it 20 years instead. All the stakeholders are really buying into this vision.”

Jeff Zaltman

Jeff Zaltman is the brains behind Air Race E

Alex Wilkinson Media

Zaltman is happy to draw upon the success of Formula E as inspiration, with the electric car series drawing on its ties to Formula 1 to establish itself as a serious sport in its own right.

Zaltman says: “Formula E is hugely successful now and much more popular and well known. Within five years it achieved valuation of $840 million. We are following exactly the same business model of Formula E.

“We are not reinventing it we are just applying it to an entirely new sport, we are migrating it to a new realm and we expect it to follow a similar trajectory.

We have grand ambitions to make this a mainstream motorsport.”

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