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Meet the first e-racer set to compete in Air Race E

Team Condor Aviation, a UK company specialising in building and testing bespoke aircraft unveils the first all-electric racer at the 2019 Dubai Airshow. The e-racer model is a retrofit of the winning “White Lightning” aircraft from formula races of the 80s and 90s. Martyn Wiseman, founder of Condor Group bought the old Cassutt model which is still popular in traditional formula one air racing today.

Team Condor Aviation removed the piston engine and dropped in a Contra-Electric’s twin motor, a contra-rotating-propeller powertrain that provides continuous electric power. The team then replaced the fuel tank with a ~20 kWh battery.

Technical specifications

Power: 150 kW

Battery: ~20 kWh

Aircraft type: Cassutt Racer (modified)

Engine type: Fully electric

Wingspan: 4.6 metres

Tail span: 4 metres

Weight: 375 kg

The biggest problem with the retrofit was trying to get the right balance between the weight of the aircraft and the power distribution. The original piston engine had a relatively lower power to weight ratio compared to the new electric engine.

Air Race E will feature eight aeroplanes racing directly against each other for ten laps at speeds reaching the 280mph around a tight circuit of just 1.5km. With the first race set to start in November 2020, thousands of spectators are expected to line the grandstands. At a time when electric flight is still in its infancy, the Air Race E project is set to help acceleration in both aviation and motorsport.

More information on Air Race E