The promise of a flying car future has not materialized yet. Development has been less than speedy for various reasons, including technology for an efficient, sustainable, and safe flying car. Perhaps that will change with the start of the world’s first crewed flying car race, the Airspeeder Racing Series, in 2024.
As we all know, motorsports-developed tech often ended up being used in everyday vehicles, and the start of racing series for flying cars may help accelerate the development the same way.
The aircraft you see here that looks suspiciously like a modern Formula 1 race car without wheels, called the Airspeeder Mk4, is the world’s first crewed flying racing car that will take part in the first-ever manned flying car race.
Developed by Adelaide-based Alauda Aeronautics, the Airspeeder Mk4 is the world’s fastest hydrogen electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, powered by Thunderstrike Hydrogen Turbogenerator, capable of reaching a top speed of 360 km/h (225 mph) in mere 30 seconds from a standing start.
It has a take-off weight of 950 kilograms and a projected range of 300 km (188 miles). Its predecessor, the remotely-piloted Mk3 has successfully completed over 350 test flights and even took part in two Airspeeder demonstration races in South Australia last year (2022).
It boasts a unique gimballed thrust system controlled by an Artificial Intelligence flight controller that adjusts the four-rotor pairs mounted on lightweight 3D-printed gimbals. This results in a flying race car that is not only crazy fast in a straight line but also super maneuverable.
Alauda Aeronautics said the Airspeeder Mk4 handles more than a jet fighter or Formula 1 racing car than a multicopter. Flight tests are underway in South Australia.
More information about this new kind of motorsport is available on the Airspeeder website where you can also learn more about the new Airspeed Mk4.
Images: Airspeeder/Alauda Aeronautics.