Trailblazing Electric Racing Plane to Conquer the Sky at a Record-Breaking 250 MPH

Motorsports that are dedicated to all-electric vehicles, whether they be cars, boats, or airplanes, are slowly starting to make a name for themselves in the industry. Emissions-free aircraft are gearing up to compete within the Air Race E, the world’s first and only racing championship for electric planes.
The Cassutt 111M has been retrofitted with the help of Ansys simulation software 9 photos
Photo: The Nordic Air Racing Team
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You’re probably familiar with the world-famous Red Bull Air Race, the first event of its kind to offer adrenaline-pumping air competitions for the public. While the World Championship Air Race (WCAR) is claiming to become the fastest motorsport on the planet, due to kick off this year, a different kind of air competition is also getting ready to debut one year later, in 2023. This is Air Race E, based exclusively on electric-powered aircraft.

Until the official debut, the seven teams that have registered so far will be racing in advance – they are all small propeller airplanes that will be flying at 250 mph (402 kph), at 49 feet (15 meters) in the air.

The Nordic Air Racing Team has successfully conducted what it claims to be the world’s first flight of an all-electric racing plane, after previous ground demonstrations last year. The aircraft is a Cassutt 111M, a favorite among Formula 1 air racing enthusiasts, which was chosen for its simple design. The Team has worked on a comprehensive conversion process, making the Cassutt not only fully-electric, but even more performant. It has a power output of 170 kW (228 HP), compared to the 100 hp of the initial engine.

Weighing 407 kg (881 lbs), the Nordic Air Racing Team plane will be able to hit almost 250 mph (400 kph), making it the fastest electric aircraft around. It also boasts a “state-of-the-art battery management system,” and an in-house developed battery casing and firewall, for maximum safety.

The retrofit was completed with the help of Ansys, the official simulation software partner of the event. The software was used for optimizing the plane’s center of gravity and air cooling system, as well as for modifying its nose and developing the composite motor compartment.

By using this advanced software simulation, the Nordic Air Racing Team saved around 250 additional hours of experimental work on the battery.

Just like the cars competing in Formula E, these fast electric aircraft are meant to help accelerate the green transition, this time for aerospace.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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