Alauda Aeronautics has unveiled the Airspeeder Mk4 – the first crewed version of its flying racing car.
Continue reading below, or listen:
Powered by Thunderstrike Hydrogen Turbogenerator, the Airspeeder Mk4 is the world’s fastest electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with a top speed of 360 kph (225 mph) and a range of 300 km (188 miles). The aircraft will be shown to the public for the first time at the Southstart Innovation Festival, March 9, 2023. Flight testing has already begun in South Australia, with the first crewed Airspeeder races scheduled for 2024. Team entries are now open!
“We, and the world, are ready for crewed flying car racing. We have built the vehicles, developed the sport, secured the venues, attracted the sponsors and technical partners. Now is the time for the world’s most progressive, innovative and ambitious automotive brands, OEM manufacturers and motorsport teams to be part of a truly revolutionary new motorsport. In unveiling the crewed Airspeeder Mk4 we show the vehicles that will battle it out in blade-to-blade racing crewed by the most highly-skilled pilots in their fields,” says Matt Pearson, Alauda Aeronautics CEO.
The Airspeeder is designed as a race car – but it also demonstrates the capabilities of human carrying eVTOLs for commercial purposes. The “Thunderstrike” engine uses hydrogen fuel:
Hydrogen is an ideal fuel for future aviation, and specifically personal urban air travel. It has a high energy density and can be stored in a lightweight, compact form, making it suitable for small aircraft; it’s also non-toxic and produces no emissions except pure water, so it doesn’t cause air pollution. Further to this, because hydrogen gas is lighter than air, it will simply rise and disperse into the atmosphere in the event of a leak, reducing the risk of fire or explosion.
As well as taking the existing eVTOL industry into the next-generation H2eVTOL era, this technology has the potential to significantly reduce emissions and create a sustainable future for individual air travel.
“Capable of reaching a top speed of 360 kph (225 mph) in just 30 seconds from a standing start, it’s designed to set the bar for performance and technology in the radical new sport of piloted Airspeeder racing,” says the company. “With its sophisticated electric propulsion system, advanced aerodynamics and a take-off weight (MTOW) of just 950 kg, the Airspeeder Mk4 is also extremely efficient, with a projected range of 300 km (188 miles) while producing near-zero emissions.”
This new model takes the remotely piloted Mk3 and puts a racer in the driver’s seat.
“Alauda Aeronautics is already looking beyond racing to a world where private flying cars are a daily reality, and a viable means of urban transport. Its team of engineers and designers, drawn from companies including Airbus, Boeing, Ferrari, MagniX and McLaren, are confident its technologies could make air travel faster, more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more accessible than ever before.”
Matt Pearson, CEO, Alauda Aeronautics says, “You will see these technologies on the racetrack. However, eVTOLs are already a trillion-dollar industry and we see a very substantial market for private flying cars emerging in the near future. In conventional aerospace, there are about as many private jets as there are commercial jets in operation. We believe it could be the same with flying cars one day, with a roughly similar number of commercial taxis and private cars initially. Once we can sell you a flying car for the same price as a Tesla, you’ll quickly see the balance shift. Today, private cars outnumber taxis by about 300 to one, so the potential for people to own and drive their own flying car one day is absolutely enormous. It’s a very exciting time.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.