Three June Races Electrified

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Every June, three races provide insight into how much electric power has become a regular part of motorsports: The Isle of Man TT Zero motorcycle race, the 24 Hours of LeMans, and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  This year, there were disappointments as well as triumphs, but progress nonetheless. Isle of Man TT Zero For followers of electric two-wheeling, this year’s Tourist Trophy (TT) Zero had one high moment, a record-setting run by Michael Rutter on a Team Mugen bike, which did one lap at 121.824 mph (18:34.956 for the 37.75 mile course).  Admittedly, because of the relatively low energy density of batteries to petrol, the electric bikes do a single lap compared to the six laps on the …

2016 Isle of Man TT Zero: Five Starters, Five Finishers

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Electric motorcycles are a recent addition to a historic race on a tiny island neatly centered in the Irish Sea between Scotland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Wales.  Its 75,000 inhabitants cluster in villages that look like movie sets of rustic, pre-war England. Manx cats come from the island, tailless little creatures with long back legs that look almost rabbit-like. Bonus fact: Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb (the Bee Gees) were all born on the Isle of Man. Having so few people to share the 688 miles of roads could make speeding a huge temptation.  The two-lane roads are twisty and narrow, though, and even without an official speed limit on many thoroughfares, speeds rarely average over 50 mph.  …

Three Races Going Electric – or at Least Hybrid

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Three major automobile and motorcycle races are adapting electric or hybrid power, and seeing winners in all categories.   The three take place in the month of June every year, making the month a showtime for innovation and a demonstration of incredible driving skills. Isle of Man Perhaps the most dangerous of all events, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle race covers 37 miles on public roads running through countryside and villages.  Over 200 riders have been killed on the course since the first race in 1910.  This doesn’t discourage over 100 riders from qualifying every year and hitting top speeds near 200 mph.  The winning gasoline-powered superbike this year averaged 128.749 during its six laps around the island. By …