The electric air race series Air Race E is adding two new race classes, including one for eVTOL aircraft.
Called “V-Class,” the eVTOL class will have a race format and rules “somewhat different” than those established for Air Race E’s airplane classes, with details “to be revealed soon.”
“The V-Class demonstrates a major step-change in air racing,” stated Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race E, in a press release. “Air Race E will be working directly with the top pioneering organizations in the eVTOL world to shape the event to be at the vanguard of both technology and entertainment in this next generation of motorsport.”
Also announced was a new airplane formula, named “Performance Class,” to be based on a standard electric powertrain that Air Race E is developing in-house. Air Race E’s existing race airplane formula — which allows manufacturers to produce their own unique powertrain configurations up to 150 kW — will be renamed “Open Class.”
According to Zaltman, “The launch of the new Performance Class and V-Class will allow us to include more stakeholders in our project and greatly increase our ability to meet the needs of the industry while organizing a thrilling motorsport.”
With Airbus as an official founding partner, Air Race E aims to launch its inaugural series of international races in 2022. The Open and Performance classes will see electric airplanes race directly against each other on a tight five-kilometer (three-mile) circuit low over the ground in events sanctioned by the Formula Air Racing Association (FARA).
Air Race E expects its competitive race environment to help spur development of cleaner, faster, and more technologically advanced electric engines. Advancing electric aircraft technology is also a stated goal of another eVTOL race series, Airspeeder, which aims to launch remotely piloted racing competitions later this year, with piloted races to follow.