+VIDEO Two of the teams developing electric aircraft to compete in the upcoming Air Race E series have opened up the hangar doors to show and talk about their projects.
Nordic Air Racing is one of the teams likely to get airborne sooner rather than later. The team’s Pierre Dussaux said, “During Spring, while following the other teams on Social Media and interacting with the Air Race E staff, we realised that we were in a good position to fly sooner than some of the other teams.
“We remain calm about it though, as developing a race plane is a long and painstaking task that is full of unknowns that can incur delay.”
His caution was echoed by Marc Umbricht at Team Pie Aeronefs, who said, “My focus has always been to develop the best race plane we could make. As such, being first has not been a top priority. The fact that we might be first is a welcome surprise!
“We have had some minor delays in milling our moulds, but now we’re back on track and our mill is turning almost full time,” continued Umbricht.
“Our batteries are getting ready for final assembly and testing (including a subscale fire test of the whole system), and our wing is almost ready to be closed. Our tail will be manufactured over the course of the next few weeks, and then we will be laminating the fuselage.”
Nordic is basing its aircraft on a Cassutt 111M. Dussaux said, “When entering the Air Race E adventure, we took the conservative approach of using a pre-existing combustion-engine aircraft and converting it into an electric one.
“This approach allows us to make only slight modifications to the aerodynamics of our plane. We also made sure to keep the weight and balance of the aircraft as close to the original plane as possible, thus making it less unpredictable during the testing phase.”
His colleague, Thomas Brødreskift, admitted, “So far, the progress has been good, although the assembly of the powertrain in our modified Cassutt has had us face several issues that we did not anticipate during the design process.
“However, we keep working day and night on the plane to be able to get it in the air and test it as soon as possible.”
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