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New Airspeeder MK4 Is The First Crewed Flying Race Car, Wants To Become The F1 Of The Skies

The first races of the hydrogen-powered single-seater eVTOL are schedulled to take place in 2024

by Thanos Pappas

February 21, 2023 at 09:34

 New Airspeeder MK4 Is The First Crewed Flying Race Car, Wants To Become The F1 Of The Skies

by Thanos Pappas

Flying cars from different companies are getting closer to production, but what about motorsport? Alauda Aeronautics, planning to initiate the Airspeeder crewed flying racing car series in 2024, previewed its hydrogen-powered aircraft which is designed and built in Adelaide, Australia.

While drone racing is already a thing, the Airspeeder MK4 is dubbed as the world’s first crewed flying racing car and an evolution of the remotely controlled MK3. According to the company, it will be the fastest electric eVTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft thanks to a top speed of 360 km/h (225 mph). That speed can be achieved in only 30 seconds from a standing start, hinting at some impressive acceleration figures.

Read: Stellantis To Build Archer’s Midnight Electric Flying Taxi In Georgia

Airspeeder uses a gimballed trust system with artificial intelligence technology to maneuver, which is said to deliver the “handling qualities of a Formula 1 car or a fighter jet”. The system comprises four individually adjustable rotor pairs mounted on 3D-printed gimbals. Power comes from a “Thunderstrike Hydrogen Turbogenerator” using hydrogen as fuel to generate up to 1,341 hp (1,000 kW / 1,360 PS) for the batteries and motors. The projected flying range is over 300 km (188 mph) allowing plenty of action between refueling stops. The aircraft is also pretty lightweight, with a take-off weight of 950 kg (2,094 pounds).

The Airspeeder MK4 – was previewed in a series of renderings, but Alauda Aeronautics completed a lot of testing on remotely controlled VTOL prototypes in the past so hopefully, they will deliver. The public debut of the Airspeeder MK4 is set for March 7 at the Southstart innovation festival in the UK. The first tests of the chassis and powertrain and the first crewed flights will take place in the first quarter of 2023. The goal is for a championship to take place in 2024. Airspeeder is accepting team entries and currently looking for OEM manufacturers to collaborate with.

Matt Pearson, CEO of Alauda Aeronautics said: “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.”

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