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First electric racing aircraft unveiled in Airbus-backed tournament

An Airbus-backed air racing tournament unveiled an electric-powered sports aircraft on Sunday, billed as the world’s first, as the European planemaker seeks to boost its green aerospace technology.

Several companies, including U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc, are working on electric-powered flying cars, amid increasing concerns about the environmental impact of fossil-fuel intensive air travel.

Last month, Airbus rival Boeing announced a partnership with automaker Volkswagen’s sports car brand, Porsche, to develop a concept electric flying vehicle capable of transporting people in urban environments.

Airbus-backed tournament first electric racing aircraft
The Air Race electric racing aircraft is on display during the first day of Dubai Air Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 17, 2019. REUTERS

Air Race E said the aircraft, called White Lightning and unveiled at the Dubai Air Show, will be manufactured by UK-based Condor Aviation.

The aircraft will use an electric motor that will carry it at flight speeds of around 482 kilometers (300 miles) per hour on a tight 5 kilometer (about 3 miles) circuit, just 10 meters above the ground.

“The racing series will provide a test bed for innovation and accelerate the journey towards electric commercial travel,” Air Race E Chief Executive Jeff Walkman said.

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