Condor Aviation, a UK-based firm that focuses on permit and experimental aircraft is working with Airbus which is backing the Air Race E (air racing tournament) and helping to fully develop the racing airplane called White Lightning. Its mission is to compete in the 2020 Air Race E which is the equivalent of Air Race One but with all electric air planes, aiming to push the aerospace industry in a greener direction.
According to Airbus, the White Lightning is a converted Cassutt plane – a single-seat sport and racing aircraft designed in the United States in 1951 for Formula One air races – and sports about 200 hours power and can hit speeds of about 300 mph or 261 knots which is how air speed is measured while handling tight turns on a 3.1-mile circuit at just 33 feet off the ground. Check out the YouTube video by News18 below showcasing the unveiling of the aircraft:
The aircraft is powered by a lithium battery which can last for just five minutes of all-out racing, and 10 minutes of reserve flight at lower power. The final version of the plane is anticipated to have around 800 horse power, which should push its top speed up as well, greater flight time with aims to set a world speed record for an all-electric airplane.
Jeff Zaltman, the CEO of Air Race E, said in a statement that “the racing series will provide a test bed for innovation and accelerate the journey towards electric commercial travel.” Additionally, according to Martyn Wiseman, the managing director of Condor Aviation, developing the plane was a challenge but they got it down and this movement represent steps towards commercially-viable electric flights in the future which sounds exciting.
We’re excited to see this plane fly and see how it compares next to it combustion engine counter part. We’re also excited to see the next step in all-electric flights in near future.