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.
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.