An Indefinite Postponement Has Been Announced For The Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race

An Indefinite Postponement Has Been Announced For The Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race
Courtesy by National Aeronautic Association

While potential competitors in the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race have responded "encouragingly," the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has decided to postpone the event to a date that has yet to be determined. 

The cross-country race, originally scheduled for May 22 to 25, will follow a 1,000-nm route from Omaha, Nebraska, to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, via Eppley Airfield.

During the four-day race, electric aircraft of all types will compete, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and multirotor aircraft emerging from the nascent advanced air mobility industry, such as eVTOLs. An aircraft must emit zero emissions and be powered by battery, hydrogen fuel cell, or solar panel propulsion systems to be eligible. 

"We remain committed to advancing electric propulsion aircraft through the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race," said NAA president and CEO Greg Principato. Despite this, we were unable to secure the necessary sponsorships in time for the race in 2023 due to economic conditions and a strong priority placed on product development and certification by the aircraft manufacturers." 

A FAA type certification or an experimental license is required for models used in the race. There is already some electric aircraft in operation, but the earliest type certification for newer eVTOL designs isn't expected until 2024. 

To help promote technological advancements in airplanes powered by internal combustion engines in the early days of aviation, the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race is modeled after the Pulitzer air races held by the NAA in the 1920s and 1930s. A pilot or crew who has accumulated the least cumulative flight time, excluding overnight stays and maintenance on the ground, will win the race. 

It is still possible for prospective contestants to register online for the race through the NAA's website as of December 20, 2022. A $1,500 entry fee is charged for this event, which has a limit of 25 entrants.

“When we pre-registered last December, potential competitors showed a lot of interest in the Pulitzer race. “We are hopeful that like-minded partners will join us for the race in the future and make it the standard of excellence for electric aircraft,” said Scott Neumann, director of the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race.

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