The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced plans to hold a cross-country air race for electric aircraft. According to the association, the 1,000-NM cross-country race will be a resumption of the Pulitzer air races first held in the early 1920s with the winner to be awarded the Pulitzer Trophy. The Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Air Race, which is currently scheduled for May 16-19, 2022, will be flown from Omaha, Nebraska, to near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
“The cross-country format, rather than a closed-circuit speed event, was selected to emphasize electric aircraft range and reliability, in addition to speed, in a realistic operating environment,” NAA said. “A cross-country race will require careful logistical planning from the race teams and highlight different electric propulsion technology choices and operational strategies such as rapid battery charging, whole battery changes, and solar power augmentation to extend range.”
Although limited to 25 contestants, the race is open to any piloted aircraft using “zero-emission electric propulsion” including fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters and multi-rotor urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles. It will be conducted in day VFR conditions only. The winner will be determined by “the fastest speed calculated from the cumulative flight time, not including time on the ground for maintenance, charging, or overnight stays.”