Norwegian electric aviation pioneers Equator Aircraft, have joined the world’s first electric air race, Air Race E, with a team which includes the group’s founder and CEO Tomas Brødreskift.
The group is best known for developing the world’s first electric seaplane in 2018, and is a founding partner of the all-Norwegian team Electric Aircraft Propulsion AS (EAP), which has been established as a new company. The racing team is comprised of pilot Rein Inge Hoff, chief designer Brødreskift and team leader Øystein Solheim-Aune. The trio have an impressive track record of developing innovative aircraft designs and carbon composite construction techniques, having already conducted the first sea trials of their electric sea plane just last year.
EAP is first Scandinavian entrant
EAP is the only Scandinavian entrant to Air Race E and joins a field now made up of 10 teams from across the globe. The inaugural race will take place next year.
Air Race E founder and CEO Jeff Zaltman, said: “We welcome Equator Aircraft into the series with wide open arms. This is an exciting validation of our racing series as a platform to develop technology for ultimate use in the commercial world. Equator is an accomplished industry player and we expect them to be an accomplished race team as well.”
Pushing components to their utmost limits
Tomas Brodreskift added: “The Air Race E initiative is a great opportunity to continue our work in electric aviation. The race environment allows us to explore the extreme performance characteristics of our electric powertrain, as we push the components to their utmost limits in a safe environment. Lessons from the championship will be transferred to the factory to improve the performance and design of our electric consumer based sea planes.”
Jarlsberg Airport, 100km south-west of Oslo, will serve as the team’s base where EAP plans to modify an existing Cassutt IIIM, and retrofit it with a novel electric powertrain.
Inaugural race in 2021 for Formula One style event
Air Race E will host its inaugural race next year with the first in a series of Formula One style international air races. Air Race E events will see eight planes fly simultaneously around a tight 5km circuit at just 10m above the ground and at speeds of up to 450kph – faster than any land-based motorsport.
The series is widely considered a test-bed to trial electric aircraft technology to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation. Skilled pilots, airplane builders and engineers from around the world are taking part, with the opportunity still open for those wishing to register their interest in competing.
FINN were at the launch of the Air Race E – see what CEO and Founder, Jeff Zaltman had to say about it when he spoke with Pips Taylor at the Dubai Airshow back in November 2019