The Mark-1 X-Racer, pictured, is based on a flight-tested plane called the EZ Rocket.
An X-Racer is a rocket plane specially designed and built to participate in races held by the Rocket Racing League. Initially, each X-Racer will be based on an existing airframe – that of the EZ Rocket built by XCOR Aerospace. This will be modified to carry a 1,500-pound thrust rocket engine burning liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene. Currently being tested in an early prototype form, this class of vehicle has flown more than 20 test flights.
Each X-Racer will be a single-pilot vehicle with an empty weight of roughly 1,000 pounds and a propellant weight of 1,000 pounds, yielding a gross takeoff weight of 2,000 pounds. The first-generation of Mark-1 X-Racers will reach maximum speeds of more than 320 mph.
X-Racers will have the ability to be rapidly refueled, with initial refueling times on the order of 5 to 10 minutes per pit stop. It is expected that each team will continue to develop better technology and faster methods of refueling the vehicle as the Rocket Racing League develops. The equipment required in each pit will mostly consist of ground handling equipment for the propellants and standard maintenance equipment for the vehicles.
Each vehicle will be capable of approximately 4 minutes of intermittent engine boost and 10 minutes of un-powered (glide) flight, allowing for 3–4 laps around the course between pit stops. Vehicles will launch in a staggered fashion to ensure that vehicles are always airborne.