Technology Air racing tournament unveils an all-electric sports aircraft
Hyundai hires a NASA engineer to run its new 'flying car' division
Today, Hyundai threw its hat into the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ring. The company announced that it's working to develop its own flying vehicles. Hyundai appointed Dr. Jaiwon Shin as head of its new UAM division. Most recently, Shin led NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. At Hyundai, Shin and his team will be tasked with developing the core technologies behind the company's flying vehicles. According to Hyundai, the UAM sector is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion within the next 20 years. But Hyundai is far from the first to announce UAM plans. Uber is working on a flying taxi with Bell. Volocopter has an 18-rotor autonomous air taxi.
Theseen to date have focused more on raw utility than thrill-seeking, but that's about to change very shortly. Air Race E, an air racing tournament backed by Airbus, has formally what it bills as the first electric race aircraft. The Condor Aviation-made White Lightning looks like a typical competitive single-seater, but packs an electric motor that can propel it to 300MPH while handling tight turns on a 3.1-mile circuit at just 33 feet off the ground.
The lithium battery is short-lived, to put it mildly -- the White Lightning can last for just five minutes of all-out racing, and 10 minutes of reserve flight at lower power. You won't see any endurance races with this one. Air Race E chief Jeff Walkman instead describes the airplane and the tournament as a "test bed" that will foster electric flight as a whole.
Boeing and Porsche to team to develop flying electric car
Boeing and Porsche, meet George Jetson. © BoeingThe US aircraft giant and German sports car maker announced Thursday they are teaming up to "explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace," through "a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle." Translation: They want to develop an electric vehicle that can fly.The announcement did not include any details about the amount of money or other resources the two companies plan to invest in the effort, or a target date or price range.
The racing tourney doesn't kick off until 2020, and some details have yet to be nailed down. Air Race E is only poised to name the eight teams for the first race later this week. It could represent a milestone for high-speed electric flight, though, and the technological discoveries made here could translate to everyday air travel in the years ahead.,
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