First Airbus E-racer on display at Dubai Airshow
Airbus is betting that the next big e-racing sport will involve environmentally-friendly planes flying at breakneck speeds.
It has just revealed the Airbus White Lightning 66 – the nickname of pilot Andrew Chadwick who flew the aircraft before it turned electric.
Team Condor is one of the pioneering teams of the Airbus Air Race E Series.
The jet was designed by a team of eight engineers based in the UK. Originally, it ran on regular jet fuel, however, since it has been fitted with a 375kg electric jet engine it now produces zero emissions.
Unveiled at the Dubai Airshow, it is one of a new breed of electric-powered aeroplanes. They are such a rarity, as traditionally batteries are very heavy – something that makes fling through the sky troublesome.
As such, poots flying White Lightning 66 will have to meet strict height and weight restrictions and will sit under a glass canopy.
“It feels a bit like being in a goldfish bowl,” said Dean Speight, director of engineering at Condor.
The twin-turbo motor and propeller drivetrain gives the jet continuous electric power for 12-minutes.
“The problem we have today is that there’s no sensor on the market at the moment. We're relying largely on a stopwatch. We know we can run 12 minutes on a charge, so we’ll fly for around eight minutes, but then we have to come down," said Martyn Wiseman, Head of Team Condor.
The first Air Race E series is still under wraps. Locations are currently being scouted to act as host cities for the sport.